Desert Spring

By: sp34n119w , 9:20 PM GMT on March 31, 2008

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Well, my purpose was to post the photos from my trip to Joshua Tree National Park in two separate series... turns out that, to do that, I'd have to upload them on two separate days (didn't know that - duh). Since I don't know what's happening in my life tomorrow and tomorrow is day 7... let's just say that it is unlikely that I'd be able to get that done.
So, I have 28 photos posted in one series! No, I don't expect that many will look at them all (and, yes, I could have whittled it down a bit), but, at least I'll know where to find them!

Although none of my pics are especially good, I'll put a few that I especially like in here for anyone who loves the desert spring as much as I do.

Anywho. It was a perfect day in the park. High temp of only about 72º in the upper desert portion and just a little breezy as the day wore on. It was warmer in the lower desert (low 80's by the time we got there) but still warmer as we left the park and headed east towards home, even though the sun was setting. We had sunshine all day (I got the burn to prove it!) and it was nice and dry without being uncomfortable in the least. Perfect!

I was hoping for lots of flowers and thought I might be late, but, now I think I was early! There were the itty-bitty wildflowers, lots of just-blooming Joshuas and quite a lot of Yucca Trees in full or near-full bloom. The various cacti were only budding, save one and the Cholla were covered in yellow buds. Ocotillos, too, were just getting started, and just one had open flowers on one spike.
It's been a week since I was there and I bet it's gorgeous, now.


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26. sp34n119w
10:08 PM GMT on April 22, 2008
Thanks, sully!

Thanks, Ohw!

Happy Earth Day!
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4324
25. Ohwellfine
4:51 PM GMT on April 22, 2008
Hi SP! I dropped off the cyber-planet there for a few days, but wow, love the photos of the Bauhinia tree. LOVELY!

Happy Earth Day!!!
Member Since: January 15, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 63
24. sullivanweather
10:37 AM GMT on April 22, 2008


HAPPY EARTH DAY!
Member Since: March 8, 2007 Posts: 273 Comments: 12612
23. sp34n119w
10:24 PM GMT on April 21, 2008
Karen - you bet it's grand! :)

Thanks for the heads up, LC. I'll check 'em out... and try not to be too jealous. I've never been to the poppy preserve but I've seen Huell there, lol.

It's Monday afternoon, I should be doing something, my usual Monday plan didn't work out, and I am bored.

I could write another Hillary blog - I'd like to - but it seems a bit late to do that what with the primary being tomorrow, and all.
Oh, well...

GO HILLARY!

Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4324
22. LowerCal
6:39 AM GMT on April 20, 2008
sp, if you haven't made it up to the California Poppy Reserve yet anvilhead did and got some great photos.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 59 Comments: 9615
21. SBKaren
10:13 PM GMT on April 15, 2008
Wow sp - such beautiful blooms! I was going to say that it belongs in the hybiscus family - as the bloom kind of resembles it - but NO! I had an unusual tree named for me through the wonderful folks on WU too! Ain't it a grand world!!!???
Member Since: February 21, 2005 Posts: 200 Comments: 14786
20. catfuraplenty
6:42 PM GMT on April 15, 2008


Has anyone seen the cat? lol Wow, a tree orchid? I thought it was a Hybiscus but the flower didn't look right. :) I think your pictures are terrific. Sorry for being brief, I'm a little under the weather today but working on it.
Have a good one. BTW, temps are perfect for TX.

The Cat
Member Since: May 7, 2006 Posts: 149 Comments: 3337
19. sp34n119w
5:12 PM GMT on April 15, 2008
Hurrah for WU!
It is a Bauhinia - called an Orchid Tree, believe it or not. I only called it that because the flowers look like orchids and I had no idea what else to call it. Go figure.
My THANKS to the wonderful WUers who wumailed me with that info - it was really bugging me and now I can sleep at night :)
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4324
17. sp34n119w
7:38 AM GMT on April 15, 2008
Help me identify this tree, please, if you can. It is so beautiful (you'll have to trust me on that since it's not so great looking in my pictures, LOL) and I don't think I've ever seen another like it.
Now, in case I still can't post photos, for whatever reason, you can follow the link - I can usually do those okay ;)

Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4324
16. sp34n119w
7:34 AM GMT on April 15, 2008
Hiya! Yup, another busy week and still thinking it's going to slow down... hope springs eternal.

Karen - Thanks for sharing your memories of Joshua Tree. It is still worth going out there but, yeah, if you want to camp you might want to go in the dead of summer or on a weekday.

Ohw - well get in the car and GO! :) I've been reading that there is still plenty to see in the way of blooming flowers.
Yucca spikes can get three feet high and full of blooms. Quite impressive and, as I say, one of my very favorites.

Barefootontherocks - thanks for stopping by! I'm glad you enjoyed pics :)

LC - next time you'll have to take the tour of the old offices upstairs... seems time always flies, doesn't it? Fun day :)
Having seen the last exhibit about the disaster I can say that there was much more info this time. Very moving testimonials and the flood photos were a shock to me. I think it's good that it's being remembered.
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4324
15. LowerCal
6:30 AM GMT on April 13, 2008
Finally got to see the museum exhibit you spoke of in your previous blog entry. I'd recommend it along with the rest of the museum for anyone who can make a day trip to Santa Paula.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 59 Comments: 9615
14. Barefootontherocks
6:03 PM GMT on April 11, 2008
Desert in bloom is truly wondrous. Thanks for the great photos.
Member Since: April 29, 2006 Posts: 162 Comments: 20259
13. Ohwellfine
3:54 PM GMT on April 11, 2008
Beautiful shots of flowers from the Joshua Tree. Makes me want to go on a road trip! Seriously, those are amazing. I've never seen seen a yucca in bloom. They are quite prolific, yes?

Member Since: January 15, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 63
12. SBKaren
8:32 PM GMT on April 07, 2008
Hi Sp - I think everyone has been busy this past week. Unfortunately I still have more of the same this week. Education kind of goes like that, it ebbs and flows. I'm ebbing this time of year! LOL

When we first went out to Joshua Tree it was the early 70s. We used to go out quite frequently. Then we took a long hiatus. When we returned in 1993 we were quite shocked.

In the early days we had the place to ourselves. As I said we would drive out Friday afternoon, arriving at night and had our pick of spots. I don't think that happens anymore!

But the desert does have it's own beauty...and I do appreciate it. Thanks again for the photos...
Member Since: February 21, 2005 Posts: 200 Comments: 14786
11. GardenGrrl
5:05 AM GMT on April 07, 2008
Hey Buddy, Howdy!, I'm just back after hiatus too. Trying to read, catch-up and say hi.
Member Since: March 25, 2007 Posts: 278 Comments: 10654
10. sp34n119w
5:02 AM GMT on April 07, 2008
Hi!!!

YW, LC :)

Karen - The place has changed a lot. When I was a kid most of the roads were dirt and the only people there were diehard desert fans, climbers, and, of course, the occasional tourist who stood around saying, "This is a park?!" lol. Sometimes, my family were the only people there - besides climbers who would be far away.
It really began changing around 15 years ago -more, now - when they started to manage the park more intensively. They now plant to replace and fill in where people and car exhaust have killed the flora (you may know that Joshua Trees don't last long within about 20 feet of a road) - and to enhance the experience. I have no doubt that many of the flowers and cacti, etc, that I saw did not grow there by pure chance. It's hard to say whether that's a good or a bad thing - both, really.
The walk to Barker Dam is about a mile. Not at all strenuous - I had a gimpy old lady with me and she made it fine ;) That trail has been graded and some very natural-looking step-stones put in so it's quite nice... more of that park management stuff.
Yes, there are still climbers there! I can't think of a time when I've been there, regardless of season, when I haven't seen at least one group climbing, somewhere in the park.

GardenGrrl - thank you! I had a feeling I wouldn't get around to writing a full blog entry about the trip so tried to get some of it in the picture captions. It really is a special place.

Karen, again ;) - I wish! It's just been crazy around here and every time I sit down to start reading or commenting on a blog something takes me away (and it sure ain't Calgon, lol).
I'm trying to force a few free minutes tonight to wander around the blogs...
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4324
9. SBKaren
2:47 AM GMT on April 06, 2008
Where the heck are you? Did you go back out to Joshua Tree and get stuck???
Member Since: February 21, 2005 Posts: 200 Comments: 14786
8. GardenGrrl
7:48 AM GMT on April 02, 2008
What a great trip, thanks for posting the pictures with comments about them. It is almost like going there.
Member Since: March 25, 2007 Posts: 278 Comments: 10654
7. SBKaren
9:18 PM GMT on April 01, 2008
Ahhhh sp - I didn't know you were heading to Joshua Tree! I love that place! When hubby and I first met we took many a camping trip there. We'd often leave on Friday night and literally camp under the stars - before we owned a tent. It used to be so open and empty, but we saw a big change the last time we went up there.

Interesting story - when our oldest was in HS (1993), she did GAPP (German/American Partnership Program). A German girl came to stay with us for a month, and during the summer our daughter went to stay with her in Germany. But the program brought over about 25 students. We planned a trip out to Joshua Tree because they just don't have deserts like that in Germany. We took a walk through the jumping cactus, and yes indeed, they do jump! A young guy got his head too close to one of the bushes and when he came out of the garden he had many cactus needles stuck in his head - they went right through his baseball cap!!! OUCH!

You sure did capture the beauty of the place and brought back many fond memories for me - so thanks so much! I remember doing a hike that took us up through the rocks, and then down into a small valley. That's not where the dam is, is it? It that the one that you hike OUT to? It's been so darn long...can you tell?

I also remember a very tall rock where folks used to do rock climbing. Not sure they are still allowed.

We also saw quite a few flowers on our trip going through the upper desert. I didn't get any 'still' pictures...but I got some video as we were driving in the car. Didn't see so many cactus blooming, but the hillsides were all so green, and still LOTS Of snow left around!

I'm getting to my pictures...I stopped here and enjoyed myself first!!
Member Since: February 21, 2005 Posts: 200 Comments: 14786
6. sp34n119w
9:48 PM GMT on March 31, 2008
Thanks whitewabit! Yup, p&s and I need all the help I can get. I may indeed wumail you ;) As for getting closer to the subject... did you notice the very, very pointy thingies? They were everywhere! LOL

Right now, I can't seem to post a picture... which I've done before... but, apparently, I've gone brain-dead and I'm out of time, for now.
bbl to try again :)
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4324
5. LowerCal
9:43 PM GMT on March 31, 2008
sp, thanks for bringing back all those flowers and other photos of the desert in springtime. :^)
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 59 Comments: 9615
4. whitewabit (Mod)
9:42 PM GMT on March 31, 2008
I liked many of your shots

some cc on your pictures...if that is a P&S with a zoom lens...stay out of the zoom range and get closer to the object you are shooting (flowers and such)...also play around with different angles when shooting flowers also get down to their height...and set the camera to the highest quality JPG setting...

if you didn't understand what I just wrote e-mail me with your questions...

Just trying to be helpful...

Wab
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 372 Comments: 34261
3. sp34n119w
9:38 PM GMT on March 31, 2008
Maybe not...
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4324
2. sp34n119w
9:38 PM GMT on March 31, 2008
Yea, LC, you get a flower!

Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4324
1. LowerCal
9:25 PM GMT on March 31, 2008
First!
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 59 Comments: 9615

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