Date: April 19, 2017
Place: Joshua Tree National Park, Twentynine Palms, California
There was still plenty of daylight left when we finished our little hike at Barker Dam, so we turned the car south and drove to Cottonwood Spring. Our plan was to hike a bit over there and then check out the Cholla Garden on our way back north to Twentynine Palms. In one of the yards in town there I saw an ocotillo in full bloom and I was all jazzed up about seeing the ocotillo blooming in their natural place.
We didn't cover much distance before I pulled over to admire a large lupine shrub in full bloom by the roadside.
|Silver Bush Lupine, Lupinus albifrons|
A small group of fan palms marked the presence of water. It is a short distance from the parking lot.
|California Fan Palm, Washingtonia filifera|
Lost Palms Oasis, which I first hiked with Pappa Quail over 13 years ago.
4 years ago I hiked it a second time with my friend Anenet. We were out to look for the big desert bloom I had promised her. That year however, the bloom was very weak and disappointing. That trail was at the end of our big desert road trip, and it was only there that we finally got a nice taste of what the desert has to offer.
|Small Desert Star, Monoptilon bellidiforme|
|Mojave Aster, Xylorhiza tortifolia var. tortifolia|
|Desert Bluebells, Phacelia campanularia|
|Sand Blazingstar, Mentzelia involucrata|
|Thomas' Buckwheat, Eriogonum Thomasii|
|Brittle Spine Flower, Chorizanthe brevicornu|
|Cottonwood Spring, viewed from our turning point.|
|Common Side-bloched Lizard|
|Ocotillo, Fouquieria splensens|
And we also got to see the pollinators in action: sphinx moths that was fluttering about in a low-pitch buzz, looking almost like hummingbirds.
|White-lined Sphinx Moth pollinating an ocotillo|
|Teddybear Cholla, Cylindropuntia bigelovii|
There is a short and easy loop trail in the field and although the chikas complained (they said they had had enough hiking for that day), be managed to get them out of the car and onto the trail.
|Our stroll at the Cholla Garden as captured by Pappa Quail's GPS|
It was obvious that the cholla field had sustained damage due to the long drought years, but they seemed to be on the mend when we were there.
|Fremont Indigo Bush, Psorothamnus fremontii|
|Climbing Milkweed, Funastrum cynanchoides|
I accidentally stepped on one of these founded segments when I strayed off the path to inspect more closely an interesting plant nearby. Serves me right.
|Desert Lavender, Condea emoryi|
|Jimson Weed, Datura wrightii|