Tortoise Tales: Newsletter of the
Hi-Desert Nature Museum

Big Bug Blast - Family Fun Day!

Kids with ButterfliesJoin the staff of the Hi-Desert Nature Museum for a creepy crawly bugs and butterflies-themed Family Fun Day as we explore the incredible world of insects through hands-on crafts and activities. Touch, see and even TASTE bugs while you learn how important insects are to the earth and our survival on this planet. 


Bring your bathing suit and towel and head outside to enjoy

slip-n-slides and wading pools!  This event is FREE and will keep the whole family buzzing for hours. 

Saturday, August 6, 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.


Art & Culture


Art & Culture Wednesdays occur twice a month during the summer and provide unique opportunities for kids to explore a variety of fascinating subjects through hands-on activities led by experienced staff.    


Chinese Dragon10:00 - 11:00 a.m.

July 13:    Ancient Egypt & Hieroglyphics

July 27:    Aztecs & Weaving

August 3:  China & Dragons



$2 per student paid at the door, no pre-registration required


Science Saturdays

Join us for days of discovery during Science Saturdays!  These programs will ignite your children's curiosity by presenting information and performing experiments relating to biological and physical sciences.  All programs will be facilitated by our Museum Educator.  It is recommended that children be of school age for this program.   


11:00 - 11:30 a.m.

July 9:   Genetics & Fingerprints

July 23:  Bugs! 


FREE and no pre-registration required

Mountain Lion

Brown Bag Lunch Lecture

"Wildlife Corridors"

We know that wildlife needs protected places in which to live and breed, but what happens when wildlife needs to move?  To ensure biodiversity, especially in an era of climate change and rapid urbanization, animals and plants need to be able to claim new territory.  Yet Southern California's ever expanding maze of cities, roads and urban infrastructure make movement between protected areas dangerous and sometimes impossible.  Caroline Conway, from the Wildlands Conservancy, will explain a research project and plan to help species move between core population areas in our desert region, along with suggestions on how to help wildlife find safe passage in neighborhoods and communities. 


Thursday, July 14, starting at Noon

FREE to the public, and iced tea will be served   

Brown Bag Lunch Lecture

"Ice Age Fossils from Las Vegas"

During the Pleistocene Epoch, North America was populated by an amazing variety of large mammals including mammoths, ground sloths, giant lions, horses, camels, and bison.  Here in the Mammothsouthwest, fossils of these animals are well known - and one of the richest sites in the region is located practically in our backyard...in Las Vegas, Nevada!  The deserts around Las Vegas have long been explored for ancient fossil remains, but recent studies by the San Bernardino County Museum are changing how we view the Ice Ages in this region.  What animals once lived and died here?  Do we know why these ancient behemoths went extinct?  Did early humans once co-exist with these great beasts?  Eric Scott, Curator of Paleontology at the San Bernardino County Museum, will address these and many other fascinating questions.   


Thursday, July 28, starting at Noon

FREE to the public, and iced tea will be served   


Museum Gecko
Support the Museum
Become a Member!

After receiving many inquiries about museum membership it is finally here!  The museum is launching a membership drive and we hope you will join us and be part of our great upcoming exhibits and events.  There are a variety of membership levels to choose from, each with exclusive privileges and discounts.  Your membership preserves our local history, art, culture, and natural science and helps us provide quality educational programs for school children, adults and families.


Click here to visit our web site and sign up for membership online, or visit the museum's reception desk.


Your Membership

Makes a Difference!


Museum Logo

The Hi-Desert Nature Museum is kicking off its Buy-a-Brick campaign, offering a unique opportunity for residents and visitors to help the museum build for the future.  Purchasing a brick in the entry way of the museum is a great way to show your support of the museum.  Proceeds directly impact the museum's mission by helping us maintain and upgrade the exhibitions, care for our mini-zoo animals, offer excellent educational programs, and serve the community.  Each brick is mounted with a customized copper plaque engraved with your own special message.


 Click here for more information on purchasing a brick, or visit the museum's reception desk.


Pave the Way for Education!


Martini Photograph
High and Dry:
Photography by Paul Martini 

Tour our newest temporary exhibit, "High and Dry: Photography by Paul Martini."  This exhibit features stunning photographs by Paul Martini, a contemporary nature photographer whose images depict both the unspoiled beauty of our desert, in addition to capturing humanity's presence and impact on the landscape.  

On Display Through

September 4


Striped Horsefly

Male Striped Horse Fly
Bug-y Fun Facts!
* All insects have 3 body parts (head, thorax, and abdomen), 6 jointed legs, 2 antennae, and an exoskeleton (outside skeleton).
* 95% of all the animal species on earth are insects.
* Approximately 2,000 silkworm cocoons are needed to produce one pound of silk.
* While gathering food, a bee may fly up to 60 miles in one day.
* Ants can lift and carry more than 50 times their own weight.
* It takes about 100 Monarch Butterflies to weigh an ounce.
* Houseflies find sugar with their feet, which are 10 million times more sensitive than human tongues.
* Ticks can grow from the size of a grain of rice to the size of a marble.
* There are nearly as many species of ants (8,800) as there are species of birds (9,000) in the world.
* Beetles account for 1/4 of all known species of plants and animals.  There are more kinds of bettles than all plants.
* Male mosquitoes do not bite humans; they live on plant juices and other organic material.  The female mosquito requires a blood meal for egg development.

Visit the Museum

The Hi-Desert Nature Museum is located in the Yucca Valley Community Center Complex at 57116 Twentynine Palms Highway.  The museum is open Tuesday - Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  The Hi-Desert Nature Museum is operated by the Town of Yucca Valley.  

For more information on our programs and events contact the Hi-Desert Nature Museum at (760) 369-7212 or see our web site at www.hidesertnaturemuseum.org


To view a full schedule of Yucca Valley events, sports programs and recreation classes visit the Town's web site at www.yucca-valley.org