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Indian Canyon Oasis, Palm Springs

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Uploaded on Oct 15, 2011

Shot using my Panasonic HDC-TM80..

NewWinding through the Indian Canyons, Visitors Experience A Century of Perseverance and Preservation. The Indian Canyons divide the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto mountain ranges and boast the largest grove of wild palm trees in the world — a destination and inspiration for many authors, musicians, photographers, and painters.

When you pull up to the Indian Canyons tollgate behind a line of cars, there's plenty of time to study the posted rules (no pets, no loud radios) and watch the resident chipmunks play. Finally, you fork over $9, grumbling silently at the fee and the gate that stands between you and 3,000 Washingtonia filifera palm trees.

Most of what we know about these canyons comes from the life's work of anthropologist Lowell Bean. The Palm Springs resident has completed a popularized version of his report on Andreas Canyon, "Paniktum Hemki," so soon you'll be able to learn about this place in the master's words

In a time farther back than Andreas, Indians hunted pronghorn antelope and dodged grizzlies and jaguars in the canyons. The paniktum report tells us Andreas Canyon had a greater variety of plants than anyplace in the region. Wildlife was plentiful too. Deer, Gambel's quail, and bighorn sheep came to drink from the streams.

When the villages were thriving, early irrigation ditches carried creek water to fields of corn, melons, and pumpkin. Indians worked the earth with plows made of mesquite wood. There was plenty to eat: game, mesquite flour, agave, larvae, honey, and rattlers — roasted and boiled.

Along with food and water, the canyons supplied beauty and shelter in the form of the Washingtonia filifera palm trees. A desert palm oasis — water, rocks, palms — is one of the most perfect collaborations in nature, as the Indians well knew. Bean tells us the clans each claimed their own palm groves, and Indian families owned individual trees.

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