Halloween Cat Header  
Tortoise Tales: Newsletter of the Hi-Desert Nature Museum
Halloween Spooktacular
and Howl-oween Costume Pet Parade
SpooktacularJoin us for a day of Halloween-themed games and crafts for kids of all ages.  Dress in costume or come as you are and enjoy our frightfully fun activities! 

Saturday, October 27
10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
FREE Admission
Bring your pet and join in the fun at the Howl-oween Costume Pet Parade!  Prizes will be given out for the funniest and most original costumes, and also the best animal/owner look-alike.  Pet adoption will be sponsored by the Yucca Valley Animal Shelter.  
11:00 a.m. in the Community Center Courtyard
Winter Lecture Series
Cowgirls: Women of the Wild West
Annie OakleyCowgirls appeared on the American frontier in the mid-1800s.  During a time when women were expected to act ladylike, sew, serve tea in the parlor, and care for her husband and family, cowgirls lived on the fringes of society working stock alongside the cowboys and were determined and spirited pioneers.  Museum Supervisor Lynne Richardson will present stories and images of the early cowgirls of the American West who worked on ranches, performed in Wild West shows and competed in rodeos.

Thursday, November 8, starting at Noon 
FREE to the Public and coffee will be served  
Science Saturdays
Way Cool Science!
PhysicsThe Hi-Desert Nature Museum brings hands-on learning and the thrill of scientific discovery to children with the popular "Science Saturdays" activities.  This series of science programs is designed to ignite curiosity by presenting information and performing experiments relating to biological and physical sciences.  It is recommended that children be of school age for this program.
October 6: Weather
November 10: Physics
11:00 - 11:30 a.m., FREE Admission, No pre-registration required
MBHS Presents
Recollections from the Warren Family
Warrens WellWarren's Well was dug by Chuck Warren and his family in 1881 and became the beginnings of the Town of Yucca Valley.  During this fascinating lecture, Marion Arnett, grandson of Chuck and Sylvia Warren, and son of their youngest child Lela, will be sharing his recollections of our area.  Marion, in his 80's, has incredible memories of Morongo Basin in the early days and is looking forward to sharing them with us.  He is willing to answer any questions about the old days, and if he can't remember he will spin a good yarn.
Wednesday, October 10; 5:30 - 7:00 p.m.
$5 donation to the MBHS at the door
Archaeology Fair
Archaeology KidWhat do you get when you combine the science of archaeology with the fun of Lollapalooza?  Archaeopalooza!  In celebration of California's Archaeology Month, we are partnering with local agencies to present an exciting day of archaeological adventures. 

* Lectures by Noted Archaeologists
* Demonstrations of ancient technology, including the atlatl & rabbit stick
* Basketry and flintknapping demonstrations
* Activities for kids of all ages!  

Saturday, October 20
8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Bell Center, Copper Mountain College
FREE Admission
Visit www.archaeopalooza.com for details

Organized by Copper Mountain College, Joshua Tree National Park, Morongo Basin Historical Society, and the Hi-Desert Nature Museum
Jumping Spider

Close-up of a Cardinal

Jumping Spider

Spiders are arachnids, not insects (which have six legs and antennae). Spiders have eight legs and chelicerae with fangs that inject venom. Spiders are found worldwide on every continent except Antarctica, numbering approximately 40,000 species.

Did You Know?
* Spiders have no nose or ears. The hairs on their legs can sense vibrations and allow them to hear insects coming close.
* The spitting spider catches its prey by spitting a gummy glue on its victim that acts like strapping tape.
* Some female tarantulas can live to be 30 years old.
* Most spiders are harmless to humans and death from spider bites are rare.
* Spider silk is the strongest of any natural fiber - stronger than steel and stretchier than rubber or nylon.
* All spiders produce silks and a single spider can produce up to 7 different types used for various purposes such as building webs and cocoons for their eggs.
* Scientists are researching the use of spider venom in medicine and non-polluting pesticides.
* The majority of fossil spiders have been found preserved in amber. The oldest known amber containing an arthropod dates from 130 million years ago in the Early Cretaceous period.  The oldest fossil web found to date is 100 million years old.
* In some countries people eat tarantulas.  They are said to have a nutty flavor, kind of like peanut butter!
Support the Museum
Become a Member or Buy-a-Brick
Museum LogoThe museum has two active fundraising campaigns to enable us to continue providing quality educational programs and exhibitions for residents and visitors. Help preserve our local history, art, culture, and natural science by becoming a museum member, or purchase a copper plaque to mount at the entry way of the museum with your personalized engraved inscription. Information on these programs is available at the museum's reception desk or on our website.
In This Issue
Halloween Spooktacular
Winter Lecture Series
Science Saturdays
MBHS Presents
Support the Museum
New Park Opening
HWY 62 Art Tours
Fall & Winter Hikes
Temporary Exhibit
Quick Links
New Park Opening in
Yucca Valley!
Happy Airborne Pug
Happy Airborne Pug
You're invited to the grand opening and celebration of Yucca Valley's first new park since incorporation!  Bring your family, and your family dog, to enjoy the beautiful view, innovative playground, covered picnic area, dog park, and lots of fun!


All dogs must be on a leash when not in the fenced dog park area.  Complete dog park rules available at the Community Services Office.


Saturday, October 13

9:00 - 11:00 a.m.

9:00 a.m. Ribbon Cutting

Warren Vista & Joshua Lane


Name the New Park!

Yucca Valley's newest park has yet to receive its official name. To review the Town's park naming policy, and submit a suggested name, visit the Town's website at www.yucca-valley.org


HWY 62 Art Tours
MBCAC Logo  

The Morongo Basin Cultural Arts Council is hosting its annual two weekend event, the HWY 62 Art Tours.  This event offers you a chance to experience working studios and purchase affordable original art direct from the artists.  It includes visual arts, literary arts, performance, music, and much more! 


Saturday & Sunday

October 20-21 & 27-28


Visit www.mbcac.org for more information 


Fall & Winter Hikes at
Pioneertown Mountains Preserve
Chaparrosa Peak    

Beginning this Saturday, October 6, Pioneertown Mountains Preserve, one of the Wildlands Conservancy's three desert preserves, will offer fall and winter Saturday guided hikes. 


Sawtooth Loop Hike

Every 1st & 3rd Saturday

Meet at 8:30 a.m. at Pioneertown Mtns Preserve Ranger Station

Strenuous (some rough trail conditions, length of trail)

Allow approx. 6 hours

10 miles round trip


Chaparrosa Peak Hike

Every 2nd & 4th Saturday

Meet at 8:30 a.m. at Pioneertown Mtns Preserve Ranger Station

Moderate to Strenuous

1,000 ft elevation gain and

some rough trail conditions

Allow approx. 4 hours

6.6 miles round trip


Potential hikers should call the preserve to reserve a spot 

(760) 369-7105


Temporary Exhibit
Ride 'em Cowboy! The West in Popular Culture
Clint Eastwood     

Today America's colorful wild west history continues to resonate in our popular culture.  From the dime novels of the 1800s to radio, movies and television, the ideal solitary and righteous hero was characterized in the stories of the American West, saving communities from the evils of an untamed wilderness.  Ride 'em Cowboy! will present information on the romanticizing of the West since the Louisiana Purchase and its influence on American popular culture including movies and television shows, some filmed locally in Pioneertown. 


On Display Through January 19


Halloween Kids      

Halloween has its roots in the ancient, pre-Christian festival of Samhain, which was celebrated on the night of October 31.  The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now the British Isles, believed that the dead returned to earth on Samhain.  People would gather to light bonfires, offer sacrifices and pay homage to the deceased.  During some Celtic celebrations of Samhain, villagers disguised themselves in costumes made of animal skins to drive away phantom visitors; banquet tables were prepared and edible offerings were left out to placate unwelcome spirits.  In later centuries, people began dressing as ghosts, demons and other malevolent creatures, performing antics in exchange for food and drink.  This custom, known as mumming, dates back to the Middle Ages and is thought to be an antecedent to trick-or-treating.  During the mid-19th century large numbers of immigrants, especially those fleeing Ireland's potato famine in the 1840s, helped popularize Halloween in this country. 

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.  Admission is free; donations support the educational mission of the museum.  The Hi-Desert Nature Museum is operated by the Town of Yucca Valley. 

For more information on our programs and events contact the museum at (760) 369-7212 or visit our website at www.hidesertnaturemuseum.org


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