Monday, April 19, 2010

Desert wildflowers: a photographers road trip

Anza Borrego Desert State Park

Here in lovely Southern California we have the amazing miracle of wildflowers blooming in the middle of the desert every year for a  few short weeks.  Due to our recent rains this year is even better than usual (or worse if you have allergies!).  Up until now I have never had the opportunity to go see them, but my brother Grumpy invited me to go along with he and his wife, Chatty-Cathy, on a visit to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park to take some pictures of them.

So after getting up early (for me) on a Saturday morning and driving for a couple hours to get out there I was suddenly confronted with a hike, uh, hike?  No one said anything about a stinking hike!  Oh well, here we go anyway!  Good thing I was smart enough to wear jeans and sneakers.  None of us got exactly what we expected.  We all were assuming we would observe flowers as far as the eye could see, not so, this is the desert after all.  What we did get was the normally brown and dry desert plants awash with color.  Mostly yellows and greens with some reds and purples, it really was quite lovely.  The sounds of the bees was amazing, I don't know where they all came from but the buzzing was non-stop around the plants.

We almost didn't make it all the way to the palm grove located at the end of the trail (did I mention we are out of shape and haven't hiked in a long while!), but Chatty-Cathy said if the old man with the walking stick and the 4 year old could manage it so could we, and we did.  Our bodies let us know just how difficult that hike was for us right then and into the next day.  I hope you think the results are worth the effort and discomfort, enjoy!

Some lovely yellow Brittlebush blooms (at least I think that's what they are!) and a Golden Cholla (at least I think that's what kind it is, there are a number of cholla cactuses in the area) cacti blossom opening.

Here we're looking up along the canyon walls, I referred to the plants growing out of the natural ledges of the rocks as nature's terracing much to Chatty-Cathy's amusement.

See, there is water in the desert after all!  This little stream was fed by a spring (I believe) that began in the palm grove that was located at the end of our hike.  I was captivated by the reflection of the feathery grasses in the water and the way it seemed to be dipping it's 'fingers' in to cool off  As to the picture on the right, I know there are no wildflowers in it but I couldn't resist adding it in, I just am so happy with the composition.

I love how these Cane Cholla cacti flowers resemble rosebuds, roses being my absolute favorite flower after all.  Expect to see photos of roses in the future as I have a few growing around the yard, about ten right now.

And finally some Desert Chicory to the left and a Desert Lily to the right.  I almost thought the lily somehow got there by mistake, but it really is supposed to be here in the desert.  Hmm, I am sure there is an observation there but my tired brain can't quite process it right now, maybe later after more sleep.  Lovely day, and lovely memories which I can hang upon my walls.  Thank you Grumpy and Chatty for a break from my life for a few brief hours.


  1. Nice shots. However, *I* am the one who made the observation that no 4-year-old or old man with a cane was going to make the entire hike and we weren't. :/

  2. I'm starting to wonder if she has nicknames for all of us...

  3. :P Keep reading....although you should be able to guess yours pretty easily!


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