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G a l l e r y

L i n k s

B i o


Mar de Cortez


          The Mar de Cortez, or Gulf of California, can provide marked contrast between the sere, rocky shore and the rich, colorful life beneath the waves. Almost an inland sea, this long narrow body of water fills the gap created by the gradual separation of Baja California from the mainland of Mexico. It has its own distinct biological character with hundreds of invertebrates, fish, and sea mammals found only in its warm waters. I find it agreeable to conceive of the Sea of Cortez as having a protective spirit in the form of a beautiful mermaid, surrounded by some of the fish species characteristic of its waters. Prehistoric Southwest Indians such as the Hohokam made trips through challenging desert country to gather shells among the shores of this sea. They then worked the shells into clever animal shapes which they traded to peoples farther to the north.