Antelope Valley’s Piute Ponds is an ecological oasis in the High Desert of Southern California
Piute Ponds is the largest freshwater marsh in Los Angeles County and an important stop for migratory birds on the Pacific Flyway. It is designated as an Important Bird Area by the Audubon Society and identified as a Significant Ecological Area by the County of Los Angeles. The ponds are located on Edwards Air Force Base (EAFB) in the Antelope Valley about 100 miles northeast of Los Angeles. The area covers an area of about 9,600 acres and contains a number of clay-pan ponds.
I have lived in the Antelope Valley for many years and never knew that such a magnificent place existed, with such a wide variety of wildlife. Each and every time you visit, you never really know what unique wildlife you are going to come across. Like me, I am sure that there are many people who are not aware that Piute Ponds is basically right in their own backyard.
When I go out to Piute Ponds to photograph wildlife, I get there just as the sun rises in the early morning hours. This low angle lighting from the morning sun provides a great condition for the best images to be captured. I normally use my Nikon 200-400mm lens in order to keep my distance from the wildlife, yet capture some of the highest quality images possible.
Below are some of the images that I have captured over the last several years while visiting Piute Ponds. There are quite a few, but that goes to show the large variety of wildlife calling Piute Ponds their home, whether it be permanent or a temporary layover to their destination.
Thank you very much for taking the time to look through my images from Piute Ponds. It is truly an ecological oasis in the middle of the High Desert.