California - Spring 2007 Part I - Desert Week

This gallery contains photos from Joshua Tree NP, Carrizo Plains, the Pacific coast, and the coast mountains in southern California
Image Number Image (Click to Enlarge)CaptionImage Viewed
1 This is what 2025 miles in 2 weeks looks like! In March 2007 Kenny and I took advantage of my Spring Break from school and went out to southern California in hopes of seeing hundreds of different kinds of wildflowers. Little did we know when we made ou...

This is what 2025 miles in 2 weeks looks like! In March 2007 Kenny and I took advantage of my Spring Break from school and went out to southern California in hopes of seeing hundreds of different kinds of wildflowers. Little did we know when we made ou...

This is what 2025 miles in 2 weeks looks like! In March 2007 Kenny and I took advantage of my Spring Break from school and went out to southern California in hopes of seeing hundreds of different kinds of wildflowers. Little did we know when we made our airline reservations in December that this winter was the driest since the 1920's! Oh well, I guess you can't win all of them! Despite the wildfires and drought, I found around 140 different wildflowers, 90 or so were new to me. If it had been a year like 2005, I would have at least doubled those numbers! I guess that means we'll have to plan another trip in the future! We flew into Ontario and spent 3 days in the Palm Springs area. While there, we went to Joshua Tree NP 2 days and visited the Salton Sea. On our longest driving day, we went from Palm Springs over the mountains to see Big Bear Lake (also because we like to avoid the interstate as much as possible) and then on to the oil town of Taft. While in Taft we went into the mountains twice and spent one day in Carrizo Plains. Our next leg of the trip took us over another mountain range to Ventura and the coast. We enjoyed 3 full days of the beautiful beaches, shore birds, tide pools and a wild windstorm. Our last segment was to return to Ontario where we took side trips to San Diego and Los Angeles. This trip finished our goal of visiting all 4 corners of the continental US! 857
2 We drove into Palm Springs at night so we didn't know about the Wind Farm until the next morning. We were amazed at the huge turbines that filled the valley and continued up the mountainsides. When I got out of the car to take this picture the wind nea...

We drove into Palm Springs at night so we didn't know about the Wind Farm until the next morning. We were amazed at the huge turbines that filled the valley and continued up the mountainsides. When I got out of the car to take this picture the wind nea...

We drove into Palm Springs at night so we didn't know about the Wind Farm until the next morning. We were amazed at the huge turbines that filled the valley and continued up the mountainsides. When I got out of the car to take this picture the wind nearly knocked me down, so these are well-placed! This wind farm can generate about 3.7 million kilowatt-hours of electricity each year, enough power to San Francisco. 542
3 Bob Hope's house (the large one on the left) in the Palm Springs area is an interesting looking home.

Bob Hope's house (the large one on the left) in the Palm Springs area is an interesting looking home.

Bob Hope's house (the large one on the left) in the Palm Springs area is an interesting looking home. 1301
4 <strong>Thick Yerba Santa</strong>
<em>Eriodictyon crassifolium</em>
Palm Springs, CA
March 18, 2007
I spotted this wildflower when we stopped on the road up to the Palm Springs Tram.

Thick Yerba Santa Eriodictyon crassifolium Palm Springs, CA March 18, 2007 I spotted this wildflower when we stopped on the road up to the Palm Springs Tram.

Thick Yerba Santa Eriodictyon crassifolium Palm Springs, CA March 18, 2007 I spotted this wildflower when we stopped on the road up to the Palm Springs Tram.


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5 <strong>Sacred Datura</strong>
<em>Datura stramonium </em>

Sacred Datura Datura stramonium

Sacred Datura Datura stramonium 523
6 <strong>Cresotebush</strong>
<em>Larrea tridentata</em>
Palm Springs, CA
March 18, 2007
This is a very common shrub in the desert southwest.

Cresotebush Larrea tridentata Palm Springs, CA March 18, 2007 This is a very common shrub in the desert southwest.

Cresotebush Larrea tridentata Palm Springs, CA March 18, 2007 This is a very common shrub in the desert southwest. 458
7 I went to the Living Desert Museum in Palm Desert with our friends, Steve and Nancy on the first day of the trip. The museum has animals and plants from desert areas all over the world. This little <strong>Desert Kit Fox</strong> (<em>Vulpes macrotis a...

I went to the Living Desert Museum in Palm Desert with our friends, Steve and Nancy on the first day of the trip. The museum has animals and plants from desert areas all over the world. This little Desert Kit Fox (Vulpes macrotis a...

I went to the Living Desert Museum in Palm Desert with our friends, Steve and Nancy on the first day of the trip. The museum has animals and plants from desert areas all over the world. This little Desert Kit Fox (Vulpes macrotis arsipus) was photographed in the southwest US deserts exhibit. These small foxes have very large ears, light-colored fur and they live underground during the day to help them survive the desert heat. The large ears have many blood vessels which help dissipate the body heat to keep the foxes cool. Kenny later saw one of these little foxes during an early morning walk in Taft, it lived in a stormwater drain. 1015
8 These Cacti were photographed at the shop at the Living Desert Museum. There was a fantastic selection of cacti and succulents of all shapes, colors and sizes available for purchase. <em>Xeriscaping</em>, landscaping with drought-tolerant, desert plant...

These Cacti were photographed at the shop at the Living Desert Museum. There was a fantastic selection of cacti and succulents of all shapes, colors and sizes available for purchase. Xeriscaping, landscaping with drought-tolerant, desert plant...

These Cacti were photographed at the shop at the Living Desert Museum. There was a fantastic selection of cacti and succulents of all shapes, colors and sizes available for purchase. Xeriscaping, landscaping with drought-tolerant, desert plants, is an earth-friendly practice. I was amazed at how much water-guzzling green grass we saw in the desert towns, sprinklers are kept quite busy at night! Even more disturbing to me was the number of golf courses in the Palm Springs area; golf courses have to have grass, grass has to have lots of water! To me, golf courses and deserts are not a good combination. 617
9 <strong>Claret Cup Cactus</strong>
<em>Echinocereus triglochidiatus</em>
I cheated on this photo, I took it at the greenhouse at the Living Desert Museum. This is a cactus that I would love to see blooming in the wild!

Claret Cup Cactus Echinocereus triglochidiatus I cheated on this photo, I took it at the greenhouse at the Living Desert Museum. This is a cactus that I would love to see blooming in the wild!

Claret Cup Cactus Echinocereus triglochidiatus I cheated on this photo, I took it at the greenhouse at the Living Desert Museum. This is a cactus that I would love to see blooming in the wild!


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10 <strong>Agave</strong>
It is interesting how the leaves have the pattern of the other leaves imbedded into them.

Agave It is interesting how the leaves have the pattern of the other leaves imbedded into them.

Agave It is interesting how the leaves have the pattern of the other leaves imbedded into them. 513
11 The staff of the Living Desert Museum presented a show with desert animals including this threatened native parrot. Many animals are losing their habitats to increasing development of new neighborhoods, roads and shopping areas.

The staff of the Living Desert Museum presented a show with desert animals including this threatened native parrot. Many animals are losing their habitats to increasing development of new neighborhoods, roads and shopping areas.

The staff of the Living Desert Museum presented a show with desert animals including this threatened native parrot. Many animals are losing their habitats to increasing development of new neighborhoods, roads and shopping areas. 595
12 Fortunately, this was the only <strong>Cougar</strong> (<em>Puma concolor</em>) we saw on the trip, it was safely viewed in the Living Desert exhibit. Cougars are part of the southwest desert ecosystem, so it is possible to come across one on a hike.

Fortunately, this was the only Cougar (Puma concolor) we saw on the trip, it was safely viewed in the Living Desert exhibit. Cougars are part of the southwest desert ecosystem, so it is possible to come across one on a hike.

Fortunately, this was the only Cougar (Puma concolor) we saw on the trip, it was safely viewed in the Living Desert exhibit. Cougars are part of the southwest desert ecosystem, so it is possible to come across one on a hike. 554
13 This large <strong>Desert Tortoise</strong> (<em>Gopherus agassizii</em>) is one of the stars of the show at the Living Desert Museum. The Desert Tortoise is the State Reptile of California. These animals are federally listed as a Threatened Species, t...

This large Desert Tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) is one of the stars of the show at the Living Desert Museum. The Desert Tortoise is the State Reptile of California. These animals are federally listed as a Threatened Species, t...

This large Desert Tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) is one of the stars of the show at the Living Desert Museum. The Desert Tortoise is the State Reptile of California. These animals are federally listed as a Threatened Species, thus they are protected from collection and harassment by people. However, their desert habitat is threatened by development for new neighborhoods, shopping areas and roads. The young tortoises are eaten by coyotes, ravens, gila mosters, kit foxes, and roadrunners. 1110
14 <strong>Mexican Gray Wolf</strong> (El Lobo)
<em>Canis lupus baileyi</em>
Living Desert Museum - Palm Desert, CA
The Mexican Gray Wolf is a subspecies of the Gray Wolf and is the only one found in the southwestern deserts. These beautiful animals we...

Mexican Gray Wolf (El Lobo) Canis lupus baileyi Living Desert Museum - Palm Desert, CA The Mexican Gray Wolf is a subspecies of the Gray Wolf and is the only one found in the southwestern deserts. These beautiful animals we...

Mexican Gray Wolf (El Lobo) Canis lupus baileyi Living Desert Museum - Palm Desert, CA The Mexican Gray Wolf is a subspecies of the Gray Wolf and is the only one found in the southwestern deserts. These beautiful animals were once common in the Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts and were found from central Mexico to western Texas, southern New Mexico and central Arizona. They were eliminated from the wild by the 1950's because they preyed on livestock. A captive breeding program is now being used to try and re-introduce some wolves into the Apache and Gila National Forests of of Arizona and New Mexico. I hope it succeeds, these are beautiful animals! 1525
15 <strong>Collared Peccary; Javelina</strong>
<em>Peccary angulatus</em>
Living Desert Museum - Palm Desert, CA

Collared Peccary; Javelina Peccary angulatus Living Desert Museum - Palm Desert, CA

Collared Peccary; Javelina Peccary angulatus Living Desert Museum - Palm Desert, CA 767
16 <strong>Roadrunner</strong>
<em>Geococcyx californianus</em>
Living Desert Museum
March 18, 2007
This Roadrunner was caught in the aviary at the Living Desert Museum. It lived up to its name by running back and forth in an attempt to escape. I wish...

Roadrunner Geococcyx californianus Living Desert Museum March 18, 2007 This Roadrunner was caught in the aviary at the Living Desert Museum. It lived up to its name by running back and forth in an attempt to escape. I wish...

Roadrunner Geococcyx californianus Living Desert Museum March 18, 2007 This Roadrunner was caught in the aviary at the Living Desert Museum. It lived up to its name by running back and forth in an attempt to escape. I wish I hadn't chopped off the end of its tail when I took this picture, but I was happy to get this much of such a hyperactive bird! We saw these birds in the wild too, often crossing a road! And no, they didn't go, "Beep, beep!" :) Roadrunners eat lizards and snakes. 811
17 The white patches on this cactus are <strong>Cochineal insects</strong> (<em>Dactylopius coccus</em>). I was glad the sign at the Living Desert Museum explained what they were, I probably wouldn't have noticed them otherwise. These insects produce carm...

The white patches on this cactus are Cochineal insects (Dactylopius coccus). I was glad the sign at the Living Desert Museum explained what they were, I probably wouldn't have noticed them otherwise. These insects produce carm...

The white patches on this cactus are Cochineal insects (Dactylopius coccus). I was glad the sign at the Living Desert Museum explained what they were, I probably wouldn't have noticed them otherwise. These insects produce carminic acid to protect themselves from being eaten by other insects. This acid is used to make a bright red dye. Once I was reading the label of a well-known "all natural" juice drink (after I had just finished drinking it!) when I spotted the word "Cochineal" in the ingredient list. After I got over the surprise of having bug-related "food coloring" in my strawberry drink, I decided it was probably better than ingesting an artificial red dye! :) 496
18 <strong>Century Plant flowers</strong>
<em>Agave</em> spp. / Century Plant Family (some botanists put it in the Lily Family)
Century plants don't really live for 100 years, they may flower after 10 years or so. However, many of them die after bloomin...

Century Plant flowers Agave spp. / Century Plant Family (some botanists put it in the Lily Family) Century plants don't really live for 100 years, they may flower after 10 years or so. However, many of them die after bloomin...

Century Plant flowers Agave spp. / Century Plant Family (some botanists put it in the Lily Family) Century plants don't really live for 100 years, they may flower after 10 years or so. However, many of them die after blooming and setting seed. It is common to see the dried stalks of these plants rising like skinny skeletons on desert hillsides. 515
19 <strong>Desert Marigold</strong>
<em>Baileya multiradiata</em>
Palm Desert, CA
March 18, 2007
These plants were growing at the Living Desert Museum. In a good rain year, I would have seen it in the "real desert"!

Desert Marigold Baileya multiradiata Palm Desert, CA March 18, 2007 These plants were growing at the Living Desert Museum. In a good rain year, I would have seen it in the "real desert"!

Desert Marigold Baileya multiradiata Palm Desert, CA March 18, 2007 These plants were growing at the Living Desert Museum. In a good rain year, I would have seen it in the "real desert"! 437
20 <strong>Bladderpod bush</strong>
<em>Isomeris arborea</em> / Caper Family
Palm Springs, CA
March 18, 2007
This is a very common plant in the Mojave Desert. It is easy to identify because of the distinct seed pods. The leaves have a very unpleasant ...

Bladderpod bush Isomeris arborea / Caper Family Palm Springs, CA March 18, 2007 This is a very common plant in the Mojave Desert. It is easy to identify because of the distinct seed pods. The leaves have a very unpleasant ...

Bladderpod bush Isomeris arborea / Caper Family Palm Springs, CA March 18, 2007 This is a very common plant in the Mojave Desert. It is easy to identify because of the distinct seed pods. The leaves have a very unpleasant odor similar to rancid cheese when crushed. Many desert plants have a bad smell to help them avoid being eaten by hungry animals! 654
21 Close-up of <strong>Bladderpod</strong>
<em>Isomeris arborea</em> / Caper Family
Palm Springs, CA
March 18, 2007

Close-up of Bladderpod Isomeris arborea / Caper Family Palm Springs, CA March 18, 2007

Close-up of Bladderpod Isomeris arborea / Caper Family Palm Springs, CA March 18, 2007


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22 <strong>Joshua Tree National Park</strong> has an incredibly diverse landscape with its bizarre giant yuccas, cactus, smooth granite boulders and 2 deserts. Unfortunately, the park had received less than 1 inch of rain in the past year, so I didn't see...

Joshua Tree National Park has an incredibly diverse landscape with its bizarre giant yuccas, cactus, smooth granite boulders and 2 deserts. Unfortunately, the park had received less than 1 inch of rain in the past year, so I didn't see...

Joshua Tree National Park has an incredibly diverse landscape with its bizarre giant yuccas, cactus, smooth granite boulders and 2 deserts. Unfortunately, the park had received less than 1 inch of rain in the past year, so I didn't see as many wildflowers as I'd hoped. map... 726
23 The <strong>49 Palms trail</strong> was an interesting hike to a fascinating oasis in the northern part of Joshua Tree National Park. It was hot and dry, it is important to take lots of water on a hike like this. I always feel like the moisture is bein...

The 49 Palms trail was an interesting hike to a fascinating oasis in the northern part of Joshua Tree National Park. It was hot and dry, it is important to take lots of water on a hike like this. I always feel like the moisture is bein...

The 49 Palms trail was an interesting hike to a fascinating oasis in the northern part of Joshua Tree National Park. It was hot and dry, it is important to take lots of water on a hike like this. I always feel like the moisture is being pulled from my body when I'm in the desert! 476
24 These large Feldspar crystals are common in the rocks at Joshua Tree NP. The ancient history of the park can be read in these rocks. Large crystals in igneous rock indicates that it cooled slowly underground. The area under the park was a huge <em>bath...

These large Feldspar crystals are common in the rocks at Joshua Tree NP. The ancient history of the park can be read in these rocks. Large crystals in igneous rock indicates that it cooled slowly underground. The area under the park was a huge bath...

These large Feldspar crystals are common in the rocks at Joshua Tree NP. The ancient history of the park can be read in these rocks. Large crystals in igneous rock indicates that it cooled slowly underground. The area under the park was a huge batholith, a lava dome that cooled beneath the surface. Over the eons the surface rock and soil eroded away leaving the granite behind. 579
25 <strong>Desert Mistletoe</strong>
<em>Phoradendron californicum</em>
Joshua Tree NP
March 20, 2007
There are 3 or 4 species of mistletoe in southern California, each type lives on a specific type of tree. 
Mistletoe is a parasitic plant that grows...

Desert Mistletoe Phoradendron californicum Joshua Tree NP March 20, 2007 There are 3 or 4 species of mistletoe in southern California, each type lives on a specific type of tree. Mistletoe is a parasitic plant that grows...

Desert Mistletoe Phoradendron californicum Joshua Tree NP March 20, 2007 There are 3 or 4 species of mistletoe in southern California, each type lives on a specific type of tree. Mistletoe is a parasitic plant that grows on living trees, obtaining water and nutrients from the branches. 537
26 We saw many Barrel cactus plants like this one as we walked to the 49 Palms Oasis in Joshua Tree NP. The red spines provided some of the only color along that dry trail.

We saw many Barrel cactus plants like this one as we walked to the 49 Palms Oasis in Joshua Tree NP. The red spines provided some of the only color along that dry trail.

We saw many Barrel cactus plants like this one as we walked to the 49 Palms Oasis in Joshua Tree NP. The red spines provided some of the only color along that dry trail. 440
27 Multi-colored Lichen grows on many of the rocks in the park. Lichens help break down rocks by slowly releasing acids. Lichens are not plants, they are symbiotic organisms made up of fungi and algae. The fungal cells give the lichen its shape holds wate...

Multi-colored Lichen grows on many of the rocks in the park. Lichens help break down rocks by slowly releasing acids. Lichens are not plants, they are symbiotic organisms made up of fungi and algae. The fungal cells give the lichen its shape holds wate...

Multi-colored Lichen grows on many of the rocks in the park. Lichens help break down rocks by slowly releasing acids. Lichens are not plants, they are symbiotic organisms made up of fungi and algae. The fungal cells give the lichen its shape holds water; the algae give it color and produce sugars through photosynthesis. 629
28 <strong>49 Palms Oasis</strong> is located in the northern section of Joshua Tree National Park. It is a 1-1/2 mile (one-way) hike from the parking lot to the oasis. The water is clear and cold, quite a contrast to the hot, dry, dusty desert that surro...

49 Palms Oasis is located in the northern section of Joshua Tree National Park. It is a 1-1/2 mile (one-way) hike from the parking lot to the oasis. The water is clear and cold, quite a contrast to the hot, dry, dusty desert that surro...

49 Palms Oasis is located in the northern section of Joshua Tree National Park. It is a 1-1/2 mile (one-way) hike from the parking lot to the oasis. The water is clear and cold, quite a contrast to the hot, dry, dusty desert that surrounds it. It was interesting to learn that the oasis is an indicator of a geological fault. When groundwater meets the fault it is forced up to the surface. map... 677
29 <strong>Washington Palms; Desert Fan Palm</strong>
<em>Washingtonia filifera</em>
Joshua Tree NP
It is amazing to find these huge palm trees growing in the middle of a ravine in a desert mountainside!

Washington Palms; Desert Fan Palm Washingtonia filifera Joshua Tree NP It is amazing to find these huge palm trees growing in the middle of a ravine in a desert mountainside!

Washington Palms; Desert Fan Palm Washingtonia filifera Joshua Tree NP It is amazing to find these huge palm trees growing in the middle of a ravine in a desert mountainside! 509
30 <strong>Chuckwalla</strong>
<em>Sauromalus obesus obesus</em>
There were 2 of these large lizards basking in the sun on the rocks next to the 49 Palms Oasis. Males can grow up to 18" in length. Despite the scary look of these lizards, they are herbiv...

Chuckwalla Sauromalus obesus obesus There were 2 of these large lizards basking in the sun on the rocks next to the 49 Palms Oasis. Males can grow up to 18" in length. Despite the scary look of these lizards, they are herbiv...

Chuckwalla Sauromalus obesus obesus There were 2 of these large lizards basking in the sun on the rocks next to the 49 Palms Oasis. Males can grow up to 18" in length. Despite the scary look of these lizards, they are herbivores, or plant eaters. They especially like to eat the flowers of the Brittlebush. (next photo) 679
31 <strong>Brittlebush</strong>
<em>Encelia farinosa</em>
Palm Springs, Ca
March 18, 2007
This was a familiar "old friend" that I had seen 2 years ago during my spring trip to Arizona.

Brittlebush Encelia farinosa Palm Springs, Ca March 18, 2007 This was a familiar "old friend" that I had seen 2 years ago during my spring trip to Arizona.

Brittlebush Encelia farinosa Palm Springs, Ca March 18, 2007 This was a familiar "old friend" that I had seen 2 years ago during my spring trip to Arizona. 483
32 Brittlebush-leaves are covered in little hairs to protect them from the intense desert sun.

Brittlebush-leaves are covered in little hairs to protect them from the intense desert sun.

Brittlebush-leaves are covered in little hairs to protect them from the intense desert sun. 605
33 <strong>Cactus Wren</strong>
<em>Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus</em>
This large wren was photographed at the Visitor Center at Joshua Tree National Park. It was collecting nesting material which explains the feather in its mouth.

Cactus Wren Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus This large wren was photographed at the Visitor Center at Joshua Tree National Park. It was collecting nesting material which explains the feather in its mouth.

Cactus Wren Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus This large wren was photographed at the Visitor Center at Joshua Tree National Park. It was collecting nesting material which explains the feather in its mouth. 783
34 <strong>Desert cottontail</strong>
<em>Sylvilagus auduboni</em>
We enjoyed watching this little rabbit as it munched on the plants at the Joshua Tree National Park Visitor Center. These animals are quite secretive since they are preyed upon by coyote...

Desert cottontail Sylvilagus auduboni We enjoyed watching this little rabbit as it munched on the plants at the Joshua Tree National Park Visitor Center. These animals are quite secretive since they are preyed upon by coyote...

Desert cottontail Sylvilagus auduboni We enjoyed watching this little rabbit as it munched on the plants at the Joshua Tree National Park Visitor Center. These animals are quite secretive since they are preyed upon by coyotes, cougars, eagles, owls, snakes and hawks. Rabbits have large ears to help pick up on the sound of predators. 510
35 <strong>Chuparosa</strong>
<em>Justicia californica</em>
Joshua Tree National Park 
March 20, 2007
This bright red flower is a favorite nectar source for hummingbirds.

Chuparosa Justicia californica Joshua Tree National Park March 20, 2007 This bright red flower is a favorite nectar source for hummingbirds.

Chuparosa Justicia californica Joshua Tree National Park March 20, 2007 This bright red flower is a favorite nectar source for hummingbirds. 535
36 <strong>Desert Canterbury Bells</strong>
<em>Phacelia campanularia vasiformis</em>
Joshua Tree National Park
March 20, 2007
This plant got a little bit of help at the park visitor center, it got some irrigation. I actually missed seeing it the firs...

Desert Canterbury Bells Phacelia campanularia vasiformis Joshua Tree National Park March 20, 2007 This plant got a little bit of help at the park visitor center, it got some irrigation. I actually missed seeing it the firs...

Desert Canterbury Bells Phacelia campanularia vasiformis Joshua Tree National Park March 20, 2007 This plant got a little bit of help at the park visitor center, it got some irrigation. I actually missed seeing it the first day, it was hiding behind a larger plant.


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37 <strong>Mojave Yucca plant</strong>
<em>Yucca schidigera</em>
Joshua Tree National Park
March 20, 2007
The Yucca and Joshua Trees had a spectacular bloom year, despite the drought! Both plants have stiff, dagger-sharp leaves which discourage browsi...

Mojave Yucca plant Yucca schidigera Joshua Tree National Park March 20, 2007 The Yucca and Joshua Trees had a spectacular bloom year, despite the drought! Both plants have stiff, dagger-sharp leaves which discourage browsi...

Mojave Yucca plant Yucca schidigera Joshua Tree National Park March 20, 2007 The Yucca and Joshua Trees had a spectacular bloom year, despite the drought! Both plants have stiff, dagger-sharp leaves which discourage browsing by desert animals. The distant clouds looked as though they held the promise of rain, however we counted about 10 drops when they finally arrived!


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38 <strong>Mojave Yucca flowers</strong>
<em>Yucca schidigera</em>
Joshua Tree NP
March 19, 2007
These flowers are pollinated by one insect, the Mojave Yucca moth (<em>Tegeticula yuccasella</em>). The moth and the plant are dependent on one another fo...

Mojave Yucca flowers Yucca schidigera Joshua Tree NP March 19, 2007 These flowers are pollinated by one insect, the Mojave Yucca moth (Tegeticula yuccasella). The moth and the plant are dependent on one another fo...

Mojave Yucca flowers Yucca schidigera Joshua Tree NP March 19, 2007 These flowers are pollinated by one insect, the Mojave Yucca moth (Tegeticula yuccasella). The moth and the plant are dependent on one another for survival, a relationship called mutualism. 558
39 <strong>Yucca threads</strong> were used by the Native Americans for threads, baskets, and other objects.

Yucca threads were used by the Native Americans for threads, baskets, and other objects.

Yucca threads were used by the Native Americans for threads, baskets, and other objects. 392
40 Kenny and I enjoyed watching the ants that had made this huge nest in Joshua Tree NP. We were amazed to see a group of small spiders attack and kill the ants. We laughed after watching and photographing them for 20 minutes that it doesn't take much to ...

Kenny and I enjoyed watching the ants that had made this huge nest in Joshua Tree NP. We were amazed to see a group of small spiders attack and kill the ants. We laughed after watching and photographing them for 20 minutes that it doesn't take much to ...

Kenny and I enjoyed watching the ants that had made this huge nest in Joshua Tree NP. We were amazed to see a group of small spiders attack and kill the ants. We laughed after watching and photographing them for 20 minutes that it doesn't take much to entertain us! :) 439
41 This female Spider is eating an ant that she killed in the nest. We were surprised that there were several spiders, males and females, killing and eating the ants (note a second spider on the leaf blade in the background). There were many dried ant car...

This female Spider is eating an ant that she killed in the nest. We were surprised that there were several spiders, males and females, killing and eating the ants (note a second spider on the leaf blade in the background). There were many dried ant car...

This female Spider is eating an ant that she killed in the nest. We were surprised that there were several spiders, males and females, killing and eating the ants (note a second spider on the leaf blade in the background). There were many dried ant carcasses scattered near the entrance holes, so it appeared the spiders had been feasting for a few days. I used my 4+ diopter adapter on my camera and my small tripod to take this picture. Photos like this make me better appreciate professional nature photographers! 447
42 <strong>Nolina</strong>
<em>Nolina parryi</em>
Joshua Tree NP
March 20, 2007
These are the dead flower heads from last year's bloom. Nolina is a type of yucca.

Nolina Nolina parryi Joshua Tree NP March 20, 2007 These are the dead flower heads from last year's bloom. Nolina is a type of yucca.

Nolina Nolina parryi Joshua Tree NP March 20, 2007 These are the dead flower heads from last year's bloom. Nolina is a type of yucca. 517
43 <strong>Mexican Mormon Tea</strong> plant
<em>Ephedra trifurca</em> / Joint-Fir Family
Joshua Tree National Park 
March 20, 2007

Mexican Mormon Tea plant Ephedra trifurca / Joint-Fir Family Joshua Tree National Park March 20, 2007

Mexican Mormon Tea plant Ephedra trifurca / Joint-Fir Family Joshua Tree National Park March 20, 2007


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44 <strong>Mormon Tea</strong> close-up
<em>Ephedra trifurca</em> / Joint-Fir Family

Mormon Tea close-up Ephedra trifurca / Joint-Fir Family

Mormon Tea close-up Ephedra trifurca / Joint-Fir Family 521
45 <strong>Mexican Mormon Tea</strong> close-up
<em>Ephedra trifurca</em>
Joshua Tree National Park 
March 20, 2007

Mexican Mormon Tea close-up Ephedra trifurca Joshua Tree National Park March 20, 2007

Mexican Mormon Tea close-up Ephedra trifurca Joshua Tree National Park March 20, 2007 424
46 <strong>mystery shrub</strong>
<em> </em>
Joshua Tree National Park 
March 20, 2007

mystery shrub Joshua Tree National Park March 20, 2007

mystery shrub Joshua Tree National Park March 20, 2007 454
47 A little cactus that we saw at Joshua Tree NP.

A little cactus that we saw at Joshua Tree NP.

A little cactus that we saw at Joshua Tree NP. 473
48 <strong>Mojave Antelope bush</strong>
<em>Purshia tridentata glandulosa</em>
Joshua Tree National Park 
March 20, 2007
This was the only flower of this plant that I saw, but it counts! :)

Mojave Antelope bush Purshia tridentata glandulosa Joshua Tree National Park March 20, 2007 This was the only flower of this plant that I saw, but it counts! :)

Mojave Antelope bush Purshia tridentata glandulosa Joshua Tree National Park March 20, 2007 This was the only flower of this plant that I saw, but it counts! :)


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49 <strong>Beavertail cactus</strong>
<em>Opuntia basilaris</em> / Cactus Family
Joshua Tree NP
March 20, 2007
Unfortunately, we didn't get to see the hot pink flowers that this cactus would have later in the season. This is an unusual cactus, the pad...

Beavertail cactus Opuntia basilaris / Cactus Family Joshua Tree NP March 20, 2007 Unfortunately, we didn't get to see the hot pink flowers that this cactus would have later in the season. This is an unusual cactus, the pad...

Beavertail cactus Opuntia basilaris / Cactus Family Joshua Tree NP March 20, 2007 Unfortunately, we didn't get to see the hot pink flowers that this cactus would have later in the season. This is an unusual cactus, the pads are very wrinkled looking. 513
50 <strong>Jojoba; Goatnut</strong>
<em>Simmondsia chinensis*</em> / Simmondsiaceae (Jojoba Family)
Joshua Tree National Park
March 19, 2007
This is a common non-native shrub found in southwestern deserts. The oil from the seeds of this plant has been...

Jojoba; Goatnut Simmondsia chinensis* / Simmondsiaceae (Jojoba Family) Joshua Tree National Park March 19, 2007 This is a common non-native shrub found in southwestern deserts. The oil from the seeds of this plant has been...

Jojoba; Goatnut Simmondsia chinensis* / Simmondsiaceae (Jojoba Family) Joshua Tree National Park March 19, 2007 This is a common non-native shrub found in southwestern deserts. The oil from the seeds of this plant has been used in shampoo.


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51 <strong>Split Rock</strong> is a popular side trip at Joshua Tree National Park. It is amazing to see this huge boulder with a crack all the way through it.

Split Rock is a popular side trip at Joshua Tree National Park. It is amazing to see this huge boulder with a crack all the way through it.

Split Rock is a popular side trip at Joshua Tree National Park. It is amazing to see this huge boulder with a crack all the way through it. 526
52 This wash would be full of water during a flashflood. That was not much of a threat while we were there though, we had about 15 drops of rain that day before the clouds fizzled.

This wash would be full of water during a flashflood. That was not much of a threat while we were there though, we had about 15 drops of rain that day before the clouds fizzled.

This wash would be full of water during a flashflood. That was not much of a threat while we were there though, we had about 15 drops of rain that day before the clouds fizzled. 427
53 In some areas of the park the granite has metamorphosed into gneiss shown by the layers in this rock.

In some areas of the park the granite has metamorphosed into gneiss shown by the layers in this rock.

In some areas of the park the granite has metamorphosed into gneiss shown by the layers in this rock. 480
54 <strong>Desert Alyssum</strong>
<em>Lepidium fremontii</em>
Joshua Tree National Park
March 20, 2007

Desert Alyssum Lepidium fremontii Joshua Tree National Park March 20, 2007

Desert Alyssum Lepidium fremontii Joshua Tree National Park March 20, 2007


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55 Joshua Trees grow quite tall, up to 40 feet!

Joshua Trees grow quite tall, up to 40 feet!

Joshua Trees grow quite tall, up to 40 feet! 521
56 <strong>Joshua Tree flowers</strong>
<em>Yucca brevifolia</em> / Agavaceae (Agave Family)
Joshua Tree National Park
March 19, 2007
These "trees" are not really trees at all, they are large yuccas. The early Mormon settlers thought they looked like ...

Joshua Tree flowers Yucca brevifolia / Agavaceae (Agave Family) Joshua Tree National Park March 19, 2007 These "trees" are not really trees at all, they are large yuccas. The early Mormon settlers thought they looked like ...

Joshua Tree flowers Yucca brevifolia / Agavaceae (Agave Family) Joshua Tree National Park March 19, 2007 These "trees" are not really trees at all, they are large yuccas. The early Mormon settlers thought they looked like the prophet Joshua raising his arms to heaven as they crossed the desert. Joshua Trees grow only in the "high" desert. The park has 2 deserts, the higher Mojave and the lower Colorado. Each desert has its own unique plants.


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57 <strong>Joshua Tree flowers</strong> close-up
<em>Yucca brevifolia</em>
The petals of the Joshua Tree flowers don't completely open. Like other yuccas, the Joshua Tree flowers are pollinated by only one insect, the Yucca moth. The plant and the moth ...

Joshua Tree flowers close-up Yucca brevifolia The petals of the Joshua Tree flowers don't completely open. Like other yuccas, the Joshua Tree flowers are pollinated by only one insect, the Yucca moth. The plant and the moth ...

Joshua Tree flowers close-up Yucca brevifolia The petals of the Joshua Tree flowers don't completely open. Like other yuccas, the Joshua Tree flowers are pollinated by only one insect, the Yucca moth. The plant and the moth have a symbiotic relationship (mutualism), both are dependent on the other for survival. 513
58 A dead Joshua Tree trunk
Joshua Trees are a type of Yucca, not an actual tree with wood.  This was the trunk of a dead plant.

A dead Joshua Tree trunk Joshua Trees are a type of Yucca, not an actual tree with wood. This was the trunk of a dead plant.

A dead Joshua Tree trunk Joshua Trees are a type of Yucca, not an actual tree with wood. This was the trunk of a dead plant. 432
59 Parts of Joshua Tree NP burned in the summer of 2006. It was sad to see the blackened plants.

Parts of Joshua Tree NP burned in the summer of 2006. It was sad to see the blackened plants.

Parts of Joshua Tree NP burned in the summer of 2006. It was sad to see the blackened plants. 443
60 <strong>Smoketree</strong>
<em>Psorothamnus spinosus</em>
Joshua Tree NP
March 20, 2007
In a good rain year, this shrub would have been full of bright purple pea-type flowers. It gets its common name from the silvery, smoky appearance of the thorny...

Smoketree Psorothamnus spinosus Joshua Tree NP March 20, 2007 In a good rain year, this shrub would have been full of bright purple pea-type flowers. It gets its common name from the silvery, smoky appearance of the thorny...

Smoketree Psorothamnus spinosus Joshua Tree NP March 20, 2007 In a good rain year, this shrub would have been full of bright purple pea-type flowers. It gets its common name from the silvery, smoky appearance of the thorny stems. 477
61 <strong>Raven</strong>
<em>Corvus corax</em> 
These intelligent birds are fun to watch. They are larger than crows. This raven was pulling the flowerheads of a Joshua tree sending the flowers flying! I assume the raven was hunting for yucca moths or ...

Raven Corvus corax These intelligent birds are fun to watch. They are larger than crows. This raven was pulling the flowerheads of a Joshua tree sending the flowers flying! I assume the raven was hunting for yucca moths or ...

Raven Corvus corax These intelligent birds are fun to watch. They are larger than crows. This raven was pulling the flowerheads of a Joshua tree sending the flowers flying! I assume the raven was hunting for yucca moths or their larvae. 656
62 The Cholla forest was an interesting, but formidable area to hike through. This type of cactus is notorious for breaking off and sticking into animals or people unfortunate enough to have a "close encounter" with it!

The Cholla forest was an interesting, but formidable area to hike through. This type of cactus is notorious for breaking off and sticking into animals or people unfortunate enough to have a "close encounter" with it!

The Cholla forest was an interesting, but formidable area to hike through. This type of cactus is notorious for breaking off and sticking into animals or people unfortunate enough to have a "close encounter" with it! 464
63 Ken and Kris on the Cholla forest trail
Photo by a bystander

Ken and Kris on the Cholla forest trail Photo by a bystander

Ken and Kris on the Cholla forest trail Photo by a bystander 500
64 <strong>Brandegea</strong>
<em>Brandegea bigelovii</em> / Gourd Family
Joshua Tree NP
March 20, 2007
This plant was a bit of a challenge to identify for a while.  I found it growing along the Cholla Forest trail.

Brandegea Brandegea bigelovii / Gourd Family Joshua Tree NP March 20, 2007 This plant was a bit of a challenge to identify for a while. I found it growing along the Cholla Forest trail.

Brandegea Brandegea bigelovii / Gourd Family Joshua Tree NP March 20, 2007 This plant was a bit of a challenge to identify for a while. I found it growing along the Cholla Forest trail.


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65 <strong>Pencil Cholla</strong>
<em>Opuntia ramosissima</em>
Joshua Tree NP
March 20, 2007
Like the other chollas, the Pencil Cholla has long, wicked spines. It gets its name from the thin stems.

Pencil Cholla Opuntia ramosissima Joshua Tree NP March 20, 2007 Like the other chollas, the Pencil Cholla has long, wicked spines. It gets its name from the thin stems.

Pencil Cholla Opuntia ramosissima Joshua Tree NP March 20, 2007 Like the other chollas, the Pencil Cholla has long, wicked spines. It gets its name from the thin stems. 484
66 <strong>cholla</strong>
<em></em>

cholla

cholla 416
67 <strong>Silver Cholla</strong> close-up
<em>Opuntia echinocarpa</em> / Cactus Family
A park visitor got a little too close to one of these cacti on the Cholla Garden, a mistake he regretted! Since cacti store water in their stems, they have to protec...

Silver Cholla close-up Opuntia echinocarpa / Cactus Family A park visitor got a little too close to one of these cacti on the Cholla Garden, a mistake he regretted! Since cacti store water in their stems, they have to protec...

Silver Cholla close-up Opuntia echinocarpa / Cactus Family A park visitor got a little too close to one of these cacti on the Cholla Garden, a mistake he regretted! Since cacti store water in their stems, they have to protect themselves from being eaten by thirsty animals. Not many animals can get through this arsenal of spines! 466
68 The woody skeleton of a dead Cholla has lots of holes.

The woody skeleton of a dead Cholla has lots of holes.

The woody skeleton of a dead Cholla has lots of holes. 581
69 <strong>Climbing Milkweed</strong>
<em>Sarcostemma cyanchoides</em> / Milkweed Family
Joshua Tree NP
March 20, 2007
I was excited to find these plants growing in the Cholla Garden. They can grow so thickly that they can smother plants they grow on ...

Climbing Milkweed Sarcostemma cyanchoides / Milkweed Family Joshua Tree NP March 20, 2007 I was excited to find these plants growing in the Cholla Garden. They can grow so thickly that they can smother plants they grow on ...

Climbing Milkweed Sarcostemma cyanchoides / Milkweed Family Joshua Tree NP March 20, 2007 I was excited to find these plants growing in the Cholla Garden. They can grow so thickly that they can smother plants they grow on (sort of like a "desert kudzu").


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70 <strong>Scarlet Globemallow; Desert Mallow</strong>
<em>Sphaeralcea ambigua</em> / Mallow Family
Joshua Tree NP
March 20, 2007
This is a very common desert wildflower, I've seen it in Arizona, Utah and California.

Scarlet Globemallow; Desert Mallow Sphaeralcea ambigua / Mallow Family Joshua Tree NP March 20, 2007 This is a very common desert wildflower, I've seen it in Arizona, Utah and California.

Scarlet Globemallow; Desert Mallow Sphaeralcea ambigua / Mallow Family Joshua Tree NP March 20, 2007 This is a very common desert wildflower, I've seen it in Arizona, Utah and California. 505
71 This packrat midden is a formidable fortress for a small rodent. The packrat gathers pieces of broken cholla cactus segments and places them around the entrance of its burrow, discouraging predators such as coyotes and snakes.

This packrat midden is a formidable fortress for a small rodent. The packrat gathers pieces of broken cholla cactus segments and places them around the entrance of its burrow, discouraging predators such as coyotes and snakes.

This packrat midden is a formidable fortress for a small rodent. The packrat gathers pieces of broken cholla cactus segments and places them around the entrance of its burrow, discouraging predators such as coyotes and snakes. 623
72 A close-up of a packrat midden. Note the colored threads that the rat has used as "decoration"!

A close-up of a packrat midden. Note the colored threads that the rat has used as "decoration"!

A close-up of a packrat midden. Note the colored threads that the rat has used as "decoration"! 650
73 <strong>Cheesebush</strong>
<em>Hymenoclea salsola</em>
Palm Springs, CA
March 18, 2007
I had read in one of my wildflower books that this plant gets its' name from the odor of the crushed leaves. Sure enough, when I crushed a leaf between my finge...

Cheesebush Hymenoclea salsola Palm Springs, CA March 18, 2007 I had read in one of my wildflower books that this plant gets its' name from the odor of the crushed leaves. Sure enough, when I crushed a leaf between my finge...

Cheesebush Hymenoclea salsola Palm Springs, CA March 18, 2007 I had read in one of my wildflower books that this plant gets its' name from the odor of the crushed leaves. Sure enough, when I crushed a leaf between my fingers, I smelled an odor similar to a strong Cheddar cheese! These plants are monoecious, meaning they have separate male and female flowers. Can you see the two different kinds of flowers?


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74 <strong>Desert Stink Beetle</strong>
<em>Eleodes</em> sp.
This beetle was eating a dead Joshua Tree flower on the side of the road when I found it. A few years ago on a trip to New Mexico my husband found out the hard way what these beetles do if har...

Desert Stink Beetle Eleodes sp. This beetle was eating a dead Joshua Tree flower on the side of the road when I found it. A few years ago on a trip to New Mexico my husband found out the hard way what these beetles do if har...

Desert Stink Beetle Eleodes sp. This beetle was eating a dead Joshua Tree flower on the side of the road when I found it. A few years ago on a trip to New Mexico my husband found out the hard way what these beetles do if harassed. It sprayed a nasty-smelling liquid on him. That's where the name "stink beetle" comes from! The beetles practically do a headstand to warn off potential predators, squirting the smelling liquid is a last resort. 817
75 <strong>Thick-leaved Ground Cherry</strong>
<em>Physalis crassifolia</em> / Nightshade Family
Joshua Tree National Park 
March 20, 2007
I found this plant growing next to a rock in a wash (dry river bed). Considering the fact that the park had less...

Thick-leaved Ground Cherry Physalis crassifolia / Nightshade Family Joshua Tree National Park March 20, 2007 I found this plant growing next to a rock in a wash (dry river bed). Considering the fact that the park had less...

Thick-leaved Ground Cherry Physalis crassifolia / Nightshade Family Joshua Tree National Park March 20, 2007 I found this plant growing next to a rock in a wash (dry river bed). Considering the fact that the park had less than an inch of rain in over a year, I felt lucky to find this wildflower.


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76 <strong>Ocotillo</strong>
<em>Fouquieria splendens</em> / Candlewood Family
The red flowers of this interesting desert plant are a favorite of hummingbirds. (see next photo)

Ocotillo Fouquieria splendens / Candlewood Family The red flowers of this interesting desert plant are a favorite of hummingbirds. (see next photo)

Ocotillo Fouquieria splendens / Candlewood Family The red flowers of this interesting desert plant are a favorite of hummingbirds. (see next photo) 498
77 <strong>Ocotillo flowers</strong>
<em>Fouquieria splendens</em>

Ocotillo flowers Fouquieria splendens

Ocotillo flowers Fouquieria splendens 439
78 I was surprised to see this Ocotillo stem with leaves, normally it is leafless in drought conditions.

I was surprised to see this Ocotillo stem with leaves, normally it is leafless in drought conditions.

I was surprised to see this Ocotillo stem with leaves, normally it is leafless in drought conditions. 410
79 The light-colored rock in the lower mountains in the center of the photo is an <em>alluvial fan</em>. This formation is made up of rock that has eroded and washed down from the mountains. The Ocotillo thrives in the outwash of these fans.

The light-colored rock in the lower mountains in the center of the photo is an alluvial fan. This formation is made up of rock that has eroded and washed down from the mountains. The Ocotillo thrives in the outwash of these fans.

The light-colored rock in the lower mountains in the center of the photo is an alluvial fan. This formation is made up of rock that has eroded and washed down from the mountains. The Ocotillo thrives in the outwash of these fans. 388
80 <strong>Granite</strong> is an igneous rock that is common in southern California. This type of rock is made of 3 or 4 different minerals - quartz, feldspar, and horneblende (some kinds of granite contain mica). Granite cooled slowly underground giving...

Granite is an igneous rock that is common in southern California. This type of rock is made of 3 or 4 different minerals - quartz, feldspar, and horneblende (some kinds of granite contain mica). Granite cooled slowly underground giving...

Granite is an igneous rock that is common in southern California. This type of rock is made of 3 or 4 different minerals - quartz, feldspar, and horneblende (some kinds of granite contain mica). Granite cooled slowly underground giving the rock large crystals. 433
81 "Take only pictures and leave only footprints." I always think of those words when I see a sight like this.

"Take only pictures and leave only footprints." I always think of those words when I see a sight like this.

"Take only pictures and leave only footprints." I always think of those words when I see a sight like this. 395
82 Skull Rock is a bizarre rock formation in Joshua Tree NP. It can be easily reached from the road.

Skull Rock is a bizarre rock formation in Joshua Tree NP. It can be easily reached from the road.

Skull Rock is a bizarre rock formation in Joshua Tree NP. It can be easily reached from the road. 390
83 This large Granite boulder contains a vein of feldspar.

This large Granite boulder contains a vein of feldspar.

This large Granite boulder contains a vein of feldspar. 427
84 It is a shame that no place is immune to the idiocy of vandalism! This granite boulder in Joshua Tree NP had been defaced by some spraypaint-wielding moron who selfishly ruined the view for all who followed him (or perhaps her). <em>Taggers</em> remind...

It is a shame that no place is immune to the idiocy of vandalism! This granite boulder in Joshua Tree NP had been defaced by some spraypaint-wielding moron who selfishly ruined the view for all who followed him (or perhaps her). Taggers remind...

It is a shame that no place is immune to the idiocy of vandalism! This granite boulder in Joshua Tree NP had been defaced by some spraypaint-wielding moron who selfishly ruined the view for all who followed him (or perhaps her). Taggers remind me of male dogs and cats, they also "spray" to mark their territory! 438
85 Rock climbing is a popular sport in Joshua Tree NP. We would have seen a lot more climbers if we had been there on a weekend instead of on Monday and Tuesday. This fellow was practicing traverses on the side of a boulder.

Rock climbing is a popular sport in Joshua Tree NP. We would have seen a lot more climbers if we had been there on a weekend instead of on Monday and Tuesday. This fellow was practicing traverses on the side of a boulder.

Rock climbing is a popular sport in Joshua Tree NP. We would have seen a lot more climbers if we had been there on a weekend instead of on Monday and Tuesday. This fellow was practicing traverses on the side of a boulder. 398
86 A <strong>Date Palm plantation</strong> near the Salton Sea. There are several species of dates planted in the area. I just had to try a date milk shake after being told about them.

A Date Palm plantation near the Salton Sea. There are several species of dates planted in the area. I just had to try a date milk shake after being told about them.

A Date Palm plantation near the Salton Sea. There are several species of dates planted in the area. I just had to try a date milk shake after being told about them. 908
87 Dates are the fruits of the date palms.

Dates are the fruits of the date palms.

Dates are the fruits of the date palms. 526
88 The Salton Sea is beautiful on the surface, but the highly saline (salty) water is the color of coffee and it smells terrible! Amazingly, sea birds overwinter here by the thousands! It is located south of Joshua Tree NP and I-10.

The Salton Sea is beautiful on the surface, but the highly saline (salty) water is the color of coffee and it smells terrible! Amazingly, sea birds overwinter here by the thousands! It is located south of Joshua Tree NP and I-10.

The Salton Sea is beautiful on the surface, but the highly saline (salty) water is the color of coffee and it smells terrible! Amazingly, sea birds overwinter here by the thousands! It is located south of Joshua Tree NP and I-10. 469
89 I saw these <strong>American White Pelicans</strong> (<em>Pelecanus erythrorhynchos</em>) on a jetty in the Salton Sea.

I saw these American White Pelicans (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) on a jetty in the Salton Sea.

I saw these American White Pelicans (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) on a jetty in the Salton Sea. 661
90 The Salton Sea's beach is made up of <u>not</u> sand, but pink barnacle shells! Not exactly the best place to walk barefoot on the beach. This place is really weird! 
<a href="http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&ll=34.343436,-116.378174...

The Salton Sea's beach is made up of not sand, but pink barnacle shells! Not exactly the best place to walk barefoot on the beach. This place is really weird!

The Salton Sea's beach is made up of not sand, but pink barnacle shells! Not exactly the best place to walk barefoot on the beach. This place is really weird! map... 687
91 Salton Sea "sand" and dead fish on the beach

Salton Sea "sand" and dead fish on the beach

Salton Sea "sand" and dead fish on the beach 531
92 <strong>Salt Heliotrope</strong>
<em>Heliotropium curassavicum</em>
Salton Sea
March 20, 2007
I got a kick out of how these flowers formed the shape of "TN"! :)

Salt Heliotrope Heliotropium curassavicum Salton Sea March 20, 2007 I got a kick out of how these flowers formed the shape of "TN"! :)

Salt Heliotrope Heliotropium curassavicum Salton Sea March 20, 2007 I got a kick out of how these flowers formed the shape of "TN"! :) 477
93 <strong>Tamarix; Salt Cedar</strong>
<em>Tamarix*</em> spp.
Salton Sea
March 20, 2007
This plant is a weedy non-native shrub that grows along riverbanks, creeks and lakes.

Tamarix; Salt Cedar Tamarix* spp. Salton Sea March 20, 2007 This plant is a weedy non-native shrub that grows along riverbanks, creeks and lakes.

Tamarix; Salt Cedar Tamarix* spp. Salton Sea March 20, 2007 This plant is a weedy non-native shrub that grows along riverbanks, creeks and lakes.


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94 <strong>Alkali heath</strong> (<em>Frankenia salina</em>) is one of the few plants that can grow near the shores of the Salton Sea.

Alkali heath (Frankenia salina) is one of the few plants that can grow near the shores of the Salton Sea.

Alkali heath (Frankenia salina) is one of the few plants that can grow near the shores of the Salton Sea. 501
95 <strong>Orange flower</strong>
<em> </em>

There were lots of orange groves near the Salton Sea; their sweet, fragrant aroma was literally a breath of fresh air after enduring the unpleasant smells of the water!

Orange flower There were lots of orange groves near the Salton Sea; their sweet, fragrant aroma was literally a breath of fresh air after enduring the unpleasant smells of the water!

Orange flower There were lots of orange groves near the Salton Sea; their sweet, fragrant aroma was literally a breath of fresh air after enduring the unpleasant smells of the water! 402
96 <strong>Palo Verde tree bark</strong>
<em>Cercidium floridum</em>
Living Desert Museum
March 18, 2007
<em>Palo Verde</em> means "green stick" in Spanish. The twigs and bark of these trees are green. The bark often grows in interesting patterns. Som...

Palo Verde tree bark Cercidium floridum Living Desert Museum March 18, 2007 Palo Verde means "green stick" in Spanish. The twigs and bark of these trees are green. The bark often grows in interesting patterns. Som...

Palo Verde tree bark Cercidium floridum Living Desert Museum March 18, 2007 Palo Verde means "green stick" in Spanish. The twigs and bark of these trees are green. The bark often grows in interesting patterns. Some desert plants are able to photosynthesize through their green bark since they lose their leaves during drought conditions. 544
97 <strong>Palo Verde flowers</strong>
<em>Cercidum floridum</em>
Indio, CA
March 20, 2007
We finally found these flowers blooming along an exit of I-10. It is <u>so</u> frustrating to see something blooming in a place that I can't stop! So when these...

Palo Verde flowers Cercidum floridum Indio, CA March 20, 2007 We finally found these flowers blooming along an exit of I-10. It is so frustrating to see something blooming in a place that I can't stop! So when these...

Palo Verde flowers Cercidum floridum Indio, CA March 20, 2007 We finally found these flowers blooming along an exit of I-10. It is so frustrating to see something blooming in a place that I can't stop! So when these were seen in a safe spot, we pulled off to give me a chance to take this photo.


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98 <strong>Castor Bean flowers</strong>
<em>Ricinus communis*</em> / Euphorbia Family
I took this photo from the car window with a telephoto lens at a pull out on the highway going up to Big Bear Lake because it was pouring down rain (the only rain we s...

Castor Bean flowers Ricinus communis* / Euphorbia Family I took this photo from the car window with a telephoto lens at a pull out on the highway going up to Big Bear Lake because it was pouring down rain (the only rain we s...

Castor Bean flowers Ricinus communis* / Euphorbia Family I took this photo from the car window with a telephoto lens at a pull out on the highway going up to Big Bear Lake because it was pouring down rain (the only rain we saw on the 2 week trip). Castor bean plants are quite common in southern California. The fruits are the source of the deadly poison, ricin, so this would not be a good plant to have growing where children would have easy access to it. Castor bean plants are non-native. The flowers are monoecious. It is easy to see the red pistillate flowers at the top of the flower stalk and the opening yellow staminate flowers below.


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99 Sometimes you have to do a doubletake when you see the "trees" in southern California, this isn't a tree at all, it is a well disguised Cell phone tower! I had seen another one near the Salton Sea that was a date palm. What a good idea to make those ey...

Sometimes you have to do a doubletake when you see the "trees" in southern California, this isn't a tree at all, it is a well disguised Cell phone tower! I had seen another one near the Salton Sea that was a date palm. What a good idea to make those ey...

Sometimes you have to do a doubletake when you see the "trees" in southern California, this isn't a tree at all, it is a well disguised Cell phone tower! I had seen another one near the Salton Sea that was a date palm. What a good idea to make those eyesores look a bit more pleasing! This day was the only day during our 2 week trip that we had a big rain. 530
100 On our longest day of driving (10 hours) we drove from Palm Springs to Taft via Big Bear Lake. It was quite a contrast to go from hot, dry desert to torrential rain, near-freezing temperatures, and even sleet and snow at the higher elevations in just a...

On our longest day of driving (10 hours) we drove from Palm Springs to Taft via Big Bear Lake. It was quite a contrast to go from hot, dry desert to torrential rain, near-freezing temperatures, and even sleet and snow at the higher elevations in just a...

On our longest day of driving (10 hours) we drove from Palm Springs to Taft via Big Bear Lake. It was quite a contrast to go from hot, dry desert to torrential rain, near-freezing temperatures, and even sleet and snow at the higher elevations in just a couple of hours! 453
101 Big Bear Lake is a welcome respite from the heat, crowds and traffic of the Los Angeles area. There are ski resorts up in the mountains.

Big Bear Lake is a welcome respite from the heat, crowds and traffic of the Los Angeles area. There are ski resorts up in the mountains.

Big Bear Lake is a welcome respite from the heat, crowds and traffic of the Los Angeles area. There are ski resorts up in the mountains. 423
102 My dreams of seeing orange and purple fields of poppies and Owl Clover were immediately dashed when we approached the <strong>Antelope Valley Poppy Preserve</strong>! There was only ONE kind of flower blooming there, a type of cream-colored locoweed. I...

My dreams of seeing orange and purple fields of poppies and Owl Clover were immediately dashed when we approached the Antelope Valley Poppy Preserve! There was only ONE kind of flower blooming there, a type of cream-colored locoweed. I...

My dreams of seeing orange and purple fields of poppies and Owl Clover were immediately dashed when we approached the Antelope Valley Poppy Preserve! There was only ONE kind of flower blooming there, a type of cream-colored locoweed. In a good rain year this would have been carpeted in wildflowers! 438
103 <strong>Grapevine Hill</strong> in Gorman was one of the redeeming moments of the trip. <u>This</u> was more like what I had hoped to see !

Grapevine Hill in Gorman was one of the redeeming moments of the trip. This was more like what I had hoped to see !

Grapevine Hill in Gorman was one of the redeeming moments of the trip. This was more like what I had hoped to see ! 410
104 <strong>California Poppy and Hilltop Dasies</strong>
This wasn't the masses of poppies that I had hoped to see, but I was happy to see a few like these.

California Poppy and Hilltop Dasies This wasn't the masses of poppies that I had hoped to see, but I was happy to see a few like these.

California Poppy and Hilltop Dasies This wasn't the masses of poppies that I had hoped to see, but I was happy to see a few like these. 466
105 <strong>Hilltop Daisy</strong> close-up
<em>Monolopia lanceolata</em>
Gorman, CA
March 22, 2007
These pretty gold flowers carpeted the Grapevine Hill. Along with the orange California Poppies, blue Lupines and Globe Gilia, and other flowers scatter...

Hilltop Daisy close-up Monolopia lanceolata Gorman, CA March 22, 2007 These pretty gold flowers carpeted the Grapevine Hill. Along with the orange California Poppies, blue Lupines and Globe Gilia, and other flowers scatter...

Hilltop Daisy close-up Monolopia lanceolata Gorman, CA March 22, 2007 These pretty gold flowers carpeted the Grapevine Hill. Along with the orange California Poppies, blue Lupines and Globe Gilia, and other flowers scattered on the hillside, they made for a beautiful sight.


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106 Kris on Grapevine Hill. I was in my element here! :)

Kris on Grapevine Hill. I was in my element here! :)

Kris on Grapevine Hill. I was in my element here! :) 505
107 <strong>Slender Volcanic Gilia</strong>
<em>Gilia ochroleuca exilis</em>
Gorman, CA
March 22, 2007
I had discovered this plant the day before when we stopped along the road in Gorman just before getting onto I-5 to go to Taft. Gilias are pretty lit...

Slender Volcanic Gilia Gilia ochroleuca exilis Gorman, CA March 22, 2007 I had discovered this plant the day before when we stopped along the road in Gorman just before getting onto I-5 to go to Taft. Gilias are pretty lit...

Slender Volcanic Gilia Gilia ochroleuca exilis Gorman, CA March 22, 2007 I had discovered this plant the day before when we stopped along the road in Gorman just before getting onto I-5 to go to Taft. Gilias are pretty little flowers.


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108 <strong>Globe Gilia plant</strong>
<em>Gilia capitata abrontanifolia</em> 
Gorman, CA
March 22, 2007
I found this pretty flower on the day that we went on a hunt for wildflowers.

Globe Gilia plant Gilia capitata abrontanifolia Gorman, CA March 22, 2007 I found this pretty flower on the day that we went on a hunt for wildflowers.

Globe Gilia plant Gilia capitata abrontanifolia Gorman, CA March 22, 2007 I found this pretty flower on the day that we went on a hunt for wildflowers.


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917
109 <strong>Globe gilia</strong> plant
<em>Gilia capitata abrontanifolia</em> 
Gorman, CA
March 22, 2007
This was growing on Grapevine Hill along with the Hillside Daisies.

Globe gilia plant Gilia capitata abrontanifolia Gorman, CA March 22, 2007 This was growing on Grapevine Hill along with the Hillside Daisies.

Globe gilia plant Gilia capitata abrontanifolia Gorman, CA March 22, 2007 This was growing on Grapevine Hill along with the Hillside Daisies. 494
110 <strong>Comet Blazing Star</strong>
<em>Mentzelia pectinata</em>
Gorman, CA
March 22, 2007
I found this flower blooming in a small wash below Grapevine Hill, but I couldn't figure out what it was; the other Blazing Stars that I have seen in Colorad...

Comet Blazing Star Mentzelia pectinata Gorman, CA March 22, 2007 I found this flower blooming in a small wash below Grapevine Hill, but I couldn't figure out what it was; the other Blazing Stars that I have seen in Colorad...

Comet Blazing Star Mentzelia pectinata Gorman, CA March 22, 2007 I found this flower blooming in a small wash below Grapevine Hill, but I couldn't figure out what it was; the other Blazing Stars that I have seen in Colorado and Utah were much larger. I finally identified it when I found it in a wildflower book. I took 2 books with me and bought 4 more. Like I said, you can never have enough wildflower ID books! No wonder I am nearly always within just a couple of pounds below the 50-pound baggage limit!


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111 This sign north of Gorman indicates the steep grade of Interstate 5. A few minutes later we saw a truck that had to use the runaway truck ramp. These ramps go off the highway up a steep incline, if the brakes fail, truck drivers can steer the trucks in...

This sign north of Gorman indicates the steep grade of Interstate 5. A few minutes later we saw a truck that had to use the runaway truck ramp. These ramps go off the highway up a steep incline, if the brakes fail, truck drivers can steer the trucks in...

This sign north of Gorman indicates the steep grade of Interstate 5. A few minutes later we saw a truck that had to use the runaway truck ramp. These ramps go off the highway up a steep incline, if the brakes fail, truck drivers can steer the trucks into the loose gravel to stop safely. See next photo. 581
112 Truck on I-5 runaway truck ramp. This photo was taken at 70 mph as we passed, so it is a bit blurry! Fortunately, the driver and the truck were not hurt.

Truck on I-5 runaway truck ramp. This photo was taken at 70 mph as we passed, so it is a bit blurry! Fortunately, the driver and the truck were not hurt.

Truck on I-5 runaway truck ramp. This photo was taken at 70 mph as we passed, so it is a bit blurry! Fortunately, the driver and the truck were not hurt. 442
113 We came across this damaged Tangerine crop on the highway going into Taft. There were thousands of tangerines on the ground. A hard freeze in February caused a tremendous amount of damage.

We came across this damaged Tangerine crop on the highway going into Taft. There were thousands of tangerines on the ground. A hard freeze in February caused a tremendous amount of damage.

We came across this damaged Tangerine crop on the highway going into Taft. There were thousands of tangerines on the ground. A hard freeze in February caused a tremendous amount of damage. 393
114 This was a nice view of the fields in the rolling hillsides south of Taft.

This was a nice view of the fields in the rolling hillsides south of Taft.

This was a nice view of the fields in the rolling hillsides south of Taft. 392
115 We were surprised to see thousands of oilwells in and around the town of <strong>Taft</strong>. The valley and hillsides in the area are dotted with these pumps. The smell of raw crude oil is strong near the pumps. Much of southern California is locate...

We were surprised to see thousands of oilwells in and around the town of Taft. The valley and hillsides in the area are dotted with these pumps. The smell of raw crude oil is strong near the pumps. Much of southern California is locate...

We were surprised to see thousands of oilwells in and around the town of Taft. The valley and hillsides in the area are dotted with these pumps. The smell of raw crude oil is strong near the pumps. Much of southern California is located over a large oil field, it even goes out beyond the shore beneath the ocean floor. 524
116 The <strong>Taft Oil Museum Derrick</strong> is one of the first landmarks seen when you drive into town. These large derricks once dotted the landscape around the area. The Oil Museum had displays of the history of the town beginning with the Native A...

The Taft Oil Museum Derrick is one of the first landmarks seen when you drive into town. These large derricks once dotted the landscape around the area. The Oil Museum had displays of the history of the town beginning with the Native A...

The Taft Oil Museum Derrick is one of the first landmarks seen when you drive into town. These large derricks once dotted the landscape around the area. The Oil Museum had displays of the history of the town beginning with the Native Americans. The early people used the oil and tar that seeped from the ground as glue and for waterproofing materials. 442
117 We finally found out what those large wooden "wheels" were that we saw all over Taft when we saw them in the reconstructed Derrick at the Oil Museum.

We finally found out what those large wooden "wheels" were that we saw all over Taft when we saw them in the reconstructed Derrick at the Oil Museum.

We finally found out what those large wooden "wheels" were that we saw all over Taft when we saw them in the reconstructed Derrick at the Oil Museum. 403
118 An old truck at the Taft Oil Museum.

An old truck at the Taft Oil Museum.

An old truck at the Taft Oil Museum. 388
119 This canvas tent/cabin at the Taft Oil Museum is a reconstruction of the homes where the workers of the early 1930's lived. The following photo shows the inside of the cabin.

This canvas tent/cabin at the Taft Oil Museum is a reconstruction of the homes where the workers of the early 1930's lived. The following photo shows the inside of the cabin.

This canvas tent/cabin at the Taft Oil Museum is a reconstruction of the homes where the workers of the early 1930's lived. The following photo shows the inside of the cabin. 391
120 The inside of a tent/cabin at the Taft Oil Museum. This photo shows about half the cabin.

The inside of a tent/cabin at the Taft Oil Museum. This photo shows about half the cabin.

The inside of a tent/cabin at the Taft Oil Museum. This photo shows about half the cabin. 394
121 <strong>Bush Lupine</strong>
Lupinus spp. / Pea Family
March 22, 2007
I found this beautiful lupine blooming in a field on our "escape from the desert" drive in the mountains south of Taft. The following photo is a close-up of the flowers.

Bush Lupine Lupinus spp. / Pea Family March 22, 2007 I found this beautiful lupine blooming in a field on our "escape from the desert" drive in the mountains south of Taft. The following photo is a close-up of the flowers.

Bush Lupine Lupinus spp. / Pea Family March 22, 2007 I found this beautiful lupine blooming in a field on our "escape from the desert" drive in the mountains south of Taft. The following photo is a close-up of the flowers. 432
122 Close-up of Bush Lupine
Notice how the flowers change color after having been pollinated.

Close-up of Bush Lupine Notice how the flowers change color after having been pollinated.

Close-up of Bush Lupine Notice how the flowers change color after having been pollinated. 421
123 Lupines and distant mountains

Lupines and distant mountains

Lupines and distant mountains 403
124 <strong>Mystery Flower #1</strong>
Carrizo Plain
March 23, 2007
I found this flower blooming in the trail to the Soda Lake.

Mystery Flower #1 Carrizo Plain March 23, 2007 I found this flower blooming in the trail to the Soda Lake.

Mystery Flower #1 Carrizo Plain March 23, 2007 I found this flower blooming in the trail to the Soda Lake. 402
125 <strong>Fiddleneck</strong>
<em>Amsinckia </em>spp. / Borage Family
Taft, CA
March 22, 2007
There are many different species of Fiddlenecks, I'll have to work on this one. It is a very common plant in southern CA.

Fiddleneck Amsinckia spp. / Borage Family Taft, CA March 22, 2007 There are many different species of Fiddlenecks, I'll have to work on this one. It is a very common plant in southern CA.

Fiddleneck Amsinckia spp. / Borage Family Taft, CA March 22, 2007 There are many different species of Fiddlenecks, I'll have to work on this one. It is a very common plant in southern CA. 404
126 <strong>Fiddleneck</strong>
<em>Amsinckia</em> spp. 
March 24, 2007
I found this larger type of Fiddleneck blooming in the Kern River gorge on Highway 178. This one has a red dot in each tube-shaped flower.

Fiddleneck Amsinckia spp. March 24, 2007 I found this larger type of Fiddleneck blooming in the Kern River gorge on Highway 178. This one has a red dot in each tube-shaped flower.

Fiddleneck Amsinckia spp. March 24, 2007 I found this larger type of Fiddleneck blooming in the Kern River gorge on Highway 178. This one has a red dot in each tube-shaped flower. 581
127 <strong>Red-stemmed Filaree</strong>
<em>Erodium cicutarium*</em> / Geranium Family
Redlands, CA
March 21, 2007
This is a <u>very</u> non-native common weed seen just about everywhere in southern California.

Red-stemmed Filaree Erodium cicutarium* / Geranium Family Redlands, CA March 21, 2007 This is a very non-native common weed seen just about everywhere in southern California.

Red-stemmed Filaree Erodium cicutarium* / Geranium Family Redlands, CA March 21, 2007 This is a very non-native common weed seen just about everywhere in southern California.


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128 <strong>Miniature Lupine </strong>
<em>Lupine bicolor</em> 
Gorman, CA
March 22, 2007
This tiny Lupine was blooming on Grapevine Hill. That single hill was a treasure trove of flowers!

Miniature Lupine Lupine bicolor Gorman, CA March 22, 2007 This tiny Lupine was blooming on Grapevine Hill. That single hill was a treasure trove of flowers!

Miniature Lupine Lupine bicolor Gorman, CA March 22, 2007 This tiny Lupine was blooming on Grapevine Hill. That single hill was a treasure trove of flowers!


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129 <strong>Horehound</strong>
<em>Marrubium vulgare*</em> / Mint Family
Highway 58 (going to Carrizo Plain)
March 23, 2007
This butterfly was sipping nectar from the little white flowers along the side of the highway. Horehound is a common non-native ...

Horehound Marrubium vulgare* / Mint Family Highway 58 (going to Carrizo Plain) March 23, 2007 This butterfly was sipping nectar from the little white flowers along the side of the highway. Horehound is a common non-native ...

Horehound Marrubium vulgare* / Mint Family Highway 58 (going to Carrizo Plain) March 23, 2007 This butterfly was sipping nectar from the little white flowers along the side of the highway. Horehound is a common non-native wildflower in California.


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130 As we drove up Hwy. 33 to Carrizo Plain we made several stops to enjoy the countryside. Much of the land in that area is grazed by cattle. This twisted Barbed wire caught my attention at one stop. Sometimes I enjoy taking photos just for the artistic v...

As we drove up Hwy. 33 to Carrizo Plain we made several stops to enjoy the countryside. Much of the land in that area is grazed by cattle. This twisted Barbed wire caught my attention at one stop. Sometimes I enjoy taking photos just for the artistic v...

As we drove up Hwy. 33 to Carrizo Plain we made several stops to enjoy the countryside. Much of the land in that area is grazed by cattle. This twisted Barbed wire caught my attention at one stop. Sometimes I enjoy taking photos just for the artistic value! 461
131 <strong>American Wolf Lichen</strong>
<em>Letharia columbiana</em>

I found this strange lime-green Lichen growing on the north side of a fence post in the mountains above Taft. It is poisonous if eaten.

American Wolf Lichen Letharia columbiana I found this strange lime-green Lichen growing on the north side of a fence post in the mountains above Taft. It is poisonous if eaten.

American Wolf Lichen Letharia columbiana I found this strange lime-green Lichen growing on the north side of a fence post in the mountains above Taft. It is poisonous if eaten. 389
132 <strong></strong>
<em>Lomatium</em>

Lomatium

Lomatium 499
133 <strong>Baby Blue-eyes</strong> (spotted variety)
<em>Nemophila menziesii</em> / Waterleaf Family
Mountains near Taft, CA
March 22, 2007
We escaped into the mountains one day, I just couldn't take any more brown, dead grass and sand; I needed a "gr...

Baby Blue-eyes (spotted variety) Nemophila menziesii / Waterleaf Family Mountains near Taft, CA March 22, 2007 We escaped into the mountains one day, I just couldn't take any more brown, dead grass and sand; I needed a "gr...

Baby Blue-eyes (spotted variety) Nemophila menziesii / Waterleaf Family Mountains near Taft, CA March 22, 2007 We escaped into the mountains one day, I just couldn't take any more brown, dead grass and sand; I needed a "green fix"! As we drove out of the valley near Taft, we began to see rolling fields of green grass and a few flowers. We stopped to look at some bush lupine and goldenbush. As we were walking back to the car, a small patch of blue on the other side of the road caught my eye. It was this single plant of Baby Blue-eyes, one of my "target plants"! This subspecies has tiny black dots on the white part of the petals, another subspecies does not.


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134 <strong></strong>
<em>Lupine</em>

Lupine

Lupine 469
135 <strong>Western Meadow Lark</strong>
<em>Sturnella neglecta</em>
Carrizo Plain, CA
March 23, 2007
We enjoyed seeing and hearing these beautiful birds as we drove the backroads of southern California. Sadly, we rarely see the eastern cousin of this ...

Western Meadow Lark Sturnella neglecta Carrizo Plain, CA March 23, 2007 We enjoyed seeing and hearing these beautiful birds as we drove the backroads of southern California. Sadly, we rarely see the eastern cousin of this ...

Western Meadow Lark Sturnella neglecta Carrizo Plain, CA March 23, 2007 We enjoyed seeing and hearing these beautiful birds as we drove the backroads of southern California. Sadly, we rarely see the eastern cousin of this bird in Tennessee anymore. 689
136 <strong>Mistletoe flowers</strong>
<em> </em>

Mistletoe flowers

Mistletoe flowers 378
137 <strong>Pronghorn "Antelope"</strong>
<em>Antilocapra americana</em>
Carrizo Plain
March 23, 2007
We were excited to see this lone male Pronghorn grazing on Carrizo Plain. Later we saw a small herd of females in a field.

Pronghorn "Antelope" Antilocapra americana Carrizo Plain March 23, 2007 We were excited to see this lone male Pronghorn grazing on Carrizo Plain. Later we saw a small herd of females in a field.

Pronghorn "Antelope" Antilocapra americana Carrizo Plain March 23, 2007 We were excited to see this lone male Pronghorn grazing on Carrizo Plain. Later we saw a small herd of females in a field. 420
138 <strong>Rattlesnake</strong>
<em> </em> 
I found this young rattlesnake warming itself on the road as I walked back to photograph a wildflower. It had flattened itself on the warm pavement as much as possible. Fortunately, this was not a very busy hi...

Rattlesnake I found this young rattlesnake warming itself on the road as I walked back to photograph a wildflower. It had flattened itself on the warm pavement as much as possible. Fortunately, this was not a very busy hi...

Rattlesnake I found this young rattlesnake warming itself on the road as I walked back to photograph a wildflower. It had flattened itself on the warm pavement as much as possible. Fortunately, this was not a very busy highway! Rattlesnakes are deaf, they sense their environment by smelling with their forked tongue, sight, feeling vibrations on the ground, and detecting heat through the pits in their face. They eat small rodents. 422
139 Close-up of rattlesnake

Close-up of rattlesnake

Close-up of rattlesnake 449
140 Soda on the surface of Soda Lake in Carrizo Plain.

Soda on the surface of Soda Lake in Carrizo Plain.

Soda on the surface of Soda Lake in Carrizo Plain. 503
141 <strong>Soda Lake</strong> in Carrizo Plain formed around 10,000 years ago when a tectonic shift cut off its outlet. Soda-containing sediments  from the nearby mountains have settled in the basin forming the lake (when there is water in it!). 
<a href...

Soda Lake in Carrizo Plain formed around 10,000 years ago when a tectonic shift cut off its outlet. Soda-containing sediments from the nearby mountains have settled in the basin forming the lake (when there is water in it!).

Soda Lake in Carrizo Plain formed around 10,000 years ago when a tectonic shift cut off its outlet. Soda-containing sediments from the nearby mountains have settled in the basin forming the lake (when there is water in it!). map... 644
142 A Soda "devil" on Soda Lake. These small swirling cyclones formed over the hot, dry lake bed, pulling white soda high into the air.

A Soda "devil" on Soda Lake. These small swirling cyclones formed over the hot, dry lake bed, pulling white soda high into the air.

A Soda "devil" on Soda Lake. These small swirling cyclones formed over the hot, dry lake bed, pulling white soda high into the air. 431
143 Sparrow at Carrizo Plain
There was a whole flock of these birds eating flies that were on the flowers of the shrubs.

Sparrow at Carrizo Plain There was a whole flock of these birds eating flies that were on the flowers of the shrubs.

Sparrow at Carrizo Plain There was a whole flock of these birds eating flies that were on the flowers of the shrubs. 440
144 <strong>Spiny Saltbush</strong>
<em>Atriplex spinifera</em> 
Carrizo Plain, CA
March 23, 2007
This was one of the few plants that was able to grow on the banks of the Soda lake. It had long spines with small leaves and flowers.

Spiny Saltbush Atriplex spinifera Carrizo Plain, CA March 23, 2007 This was one of the few plants that was able to grow on the banks of the Soda lake. It had long spines with small leaves and flowers.

Spiny Saltbush Atriplex spinifera Carrizo Plain, CA March 23, 2007 This was one of the few plants that was able to grow on the banks of the Soda lake. It had long spines with small leaves and flowers.


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145 <strong>Tidy Tips</strong>
<em>Layia platyglossa</em> / Aster Family
Carrizo Plain
March 23, 2007

These were some of the few flowers that we saw in the park. Tidy Tips are well-named, the ends of the ray flowers (petals) are pure white.

Tidy Tips Layia platyglossa / Aster Family Carrizo Plain March 23, 2007 These were some of the few flowers that we saw in the park. Tidy Tips are well-named, the ends of the ray flowers (petals) are pure white.

Tidy Tips Layia platyglossa / Aster Family Carrizo Plain March 23, 2007 These were some of the few flowers that we saw in the park. Tidy Tips are well-named, the ends of the ray flowers (petals) are pure white.


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146 We enjoyed this lovely view in the hills of the <strong>Tremblor Range</strong>. The mountain range gets its name from the earthquakes from the nearby San Andreas Fault.

We enjoyed this lovely view in the hills of the Tremblor Range. The mountain range gets its name from the earthquakes from the nearby San Andreas Fault.

We enjoyed this lovely view in the hills of the Tremblor Range. The mountain range gets its name from the earthquakes from the nearby San Andreas Fault. 470
147 I finally got a chance to stand on the <strong>San Andreas Fault</strong> when we went to Carrizo Plain, I am pointing to the 2 different tectonic plates. The rise on the left side of the picture is the North American Plate, on the right side is the Pa...

I finally got a chance to stand on the San Andreas Fault when we went to Carrizo Plain, I am pointing to the 2 different tectonic plates. The rise on the left side of the picture is the North American Plate, on the right side is the Pa...

I finally got a chance to stand on the San Andreas Fault when we went to Carrizo Plain, I am pointing to the 2 different tectonic plates. The rise on the left side of the picture is the North American Plate, on the right side is the Pacific Plate. A marker sign in the parking area stated that if a person stood there for 10 million years they would be at the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco! The Pacific Plate is moving northward at 1.3 inches per year, about the same rate that a person's fingernails grow. 390
148 Here Kenny is standing above <strong>Wallace Creek</strong>, a famous geologic landmark at Carrizo Plain. Over hundreds of thousands of years, the creek bed has been stretched and shifted north. It is not a real easy drive to get to this place, it is o...

Here Kenny is standing above Wallace Creek, a famous geologic landmark at Carrizo Plain. Over hundreds of thousands of years, the creek bed has been stretched and shifted north. It is not a real easy drive to get to this place, it is o...

Here Kenny is standing above Wallace Creek, a famous geologic landmark at Carrizo Plain. Over hundreds of thousands of years, the creek bed has been stretched and shifted north. It is not a real easy drive to get to this place, it is on a bumpy, dusty road and not well marked. We had our DeLorme California Atlas and Gazeteer, which was a big help in finding some of our more out-of-the-way destinations. 393
149 <strong>Wallace Creek</strong>

Wallace Creek

Wallace Creek 505
150 These twisted rock layers are located in the Tremblor Range. It is evidence of the power of the San Andreas Fault. Some of the rock in this range is clay which is mined for cat litter!

These twisted rock layers are located in the Tremblor Range. It is evidence of the power of the San Andreas Fault. Some of the rock in this range is clay which is mined for cat litter!

These twisted rock layers are located in the Tremblor Range. It is evidence of the power of the San Andreas Fault. Some of the rock in this range is clay which is mined for cat litter! 542
151 <strong>Western Burrowing Owl</strong>
<em>Athene cunicularia</em>
Carrizo Plain, CA
March 23, 2007
This was one of those, "STOP! Turn around NOW!" situations when I saw this owl sitting in the middle of a field in Carrizo Plain. I'm so lucky to ha...

Western Burrowing Owl Athene cunicularia Carrizo Plain, CA March 23, 2007 This was one of those, "STOP! Turn around NOW!" situations when I saw this owl sitting in the middle of a field in Carrizo Plain. I'm so lucky to ha...

Western Burrowing Owl Athene cunicularia Carrizo Plain, CA March 23, 2007 This was one of those, "STOP! Turn around NOW!" situations when I saw this owl sitting in the middle of a field in Carrizo Plain. I'm so lucky to have a patient husband! :) I wish I had an even stronger telephoto lens, my 300mm zoom didn't do this owl justice. It had large yellow eyes and long thin legs that I could see through the binoculars. These birds take advantage of burrows that have been dug by other animals, in this area they are dug by ground squirrels. The owl may take over the burrow after it eats the squirrels! These owls were once very common in southern California, but due to loss of habitat, they are now not as common. 763
152 A small <strong>Gilia</strong>

A small Gilia

A small Gilia 476
153 <strong>Baby Blueyes</strong>
<em>Nemophilia menzieii menzieii</em>
Wafford Heights, CA
March 24, 2007
I found these pretty little blue flowers as I was looking for the Cream Cups. I like getting what I call "two-fers", going to see one flower and ...

Baby Blueyes Nemophilia menzieii menzieii Wafford Heights, CA March 24, 2007 I found these pretty little blue flowers as I was looking for the Cream Cups. I like getting what I call "two-fers", going to see one flower and ...

Baby Blueyes Nemophilia menzieii menzieii Wafford Heights, CA March 24, 2007 I found these pretty little blue flowers as I was looking for the Cream Cups. I like getting what I call "two-fers", going to see one flower and finding another (or more)!


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154 <strong>Bristly Jewelflower</strong>
<em>Streptanthus glandulosis</em>
Kern River Canyon, CA
March 24, 2007
This was one of my "target plants", I really didn't expect to see it due to the drought. I was excited to find a patch of them with several ...

Bristly Jewelflower Streptanthus glandulosis Kern River Canyon, CA March 24, 2007 This was one of my "target plants", I really didn't expect to see it due to the drought. I was excited to find a patch of them with several ...

Bristly Jewelflower Streptanthus glandulosis Kern River Canyon, CA March 24, 2007 This was one of my "target plants", I really didn't expect to see it due to the drought. I was excited to find a patch of them with several plants! They have an unusual, dark maroon flower.


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155 <strong>Buckbrush</strong>
<em>Ceanothus cuneatus</em>
Highway 33, from Taft to Ventura
March 25, 2007
This is a fairly common shrub growing in the chaparral areas of southern California.

Buckbrush Ceanothus cuneatus Highway 33, from Taft to Ventura March 25, 2007 This is a fairly common shrub growing in the chaparral areas of southern California.

Buckbrush Ceanothus cuneatus Highway 33, from Taft to Ventura March 25, 2007 This is a fairly common shrub growing in the chaparral areas of southern California. 537
156 <strong>Creamcups</strong>
<em>Platystemon californicus crinitus</em> / Poppy Family
Wofford Heights, CA
March 24, 2007
This was another flower I had hoped to see. Some are a creamy white, others like this one, have yellow on the petals.

Creamcups Platystemon californicus crinitus / Poppy Family Wofford Heights, CA March 24, 2007 This was another flower I had hoped to see. Some are a creamy white, others like this one, have yellow on the petals.

Creamcups Platystemon californicus crinitus / Poppy Family Wofford Heights, CA March 24, 2007 This was another flower I had hoped to see. Some are a creamy white, others like this one, have yellow on the petals.


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157 <strong>Small-flowered Fiddleneck</strong>
<em>Amsinckia menziesii menziesii</em>
Taft, CA
March 22, 2007
This is another common wildflower along the roadsides.

Small-flowered Fiddleneck Amsinckia menziesii menziesii Taft, CA March 22, 2007 This is another common wildflower along the roadsides.

Small-flowered Fiddleneck Amsinckia menziesii menziesii Taft, CA March 22, 2007 This is another common wildflower along the roadsides.


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158 <strong>Common Fiddleneck</strong>
<em>Amsinckia menziesii intermedia</em> / Borage Family
Kern River Canyon, CA
March 24, 2007
This plant is seen along many of the roadsides in southern California.

Common Fiddleneck Amsinckia menziesii intermedia / Borage Family Kern River Canyon, CA March 24, 2007 This plant is seen along many of the roadsides in southern California.

Common Fiddleneck Amsinckia menziesii intermedia / Borage Family Kern River Canyon, CA March 24, 2007 This plant is seen along many of the roadsides in southern California. 487
159 <strong>Fiesta Flower</strong>
<em>Pholistoma auritum auritum</em> / Waterleaf Family
Kern River Canyon, CA
March 24, 2007
I found this "party flower" ("fiesta" means party in Spanish) blooming by a rock in the lower part of the Kern River Canyon. ...

Fiesta Flower Pholistoma auritum auritum / Waterleaf Family Kern River Canyon, CA March 24, 2007 I found this "party flower" ("fiesta" means party in Spanish) blooming by a rock in the lower part of the Kern River Canyon. ...

Fiesta Flower Pholistoma auritum auritum / Waterleaf Family Kern River Canyon, CA March 24, 2007 I found this "party flower" ("fiesta" means party in Spanish) blooming by a rock in the lower part of the Kern River Canyon. It was one of the many different flowers we found in the canyon.


clr: 8-v
921
160 <strong>White Fiesta Flower</strong>
<em>Pholistoma membranaceum</em>
Kern River Canyon, CA
March 24, 2007
The flowers of the White Fiesta Flower are much smaller than those of the Blue variety.

White Fiesta Flower Pholistoma membranaceum Kern River Canyon, CA March 24, 2007 The flowers of the White Fiesta Flower are much smaller than those of the Blue variety.

White Fiesta Flower Pholistoma membranaceum Kern River Canyon, CA March 24, 2007 The flowers of the White Fiesta Flower are much smaller than those of the Blue variety.


clr: 1-w
862
161 <strong>Angels' Gilia</strong>
<em>Gilia angelensis</em>
Kern River Canyon, CA
March 24, 2007

Angels' Gilia Gilia angelensis Kern River Canyon, CA March 24, 2007

Angels' Gilia Gilia angelensis Kern River Canyon, CA March 24, 2007


clr: 3-p
786
162 A field of Goldfields

A field of Goldfields

A field of Goldfields 454
163 Goldfields along Hwy. 178 going up the Kern River Canyon. 
<a href="http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&ll=35.621582,-118.510895&spn=0.574901,1.251068&t=p&z=10&om=1&msid=111048428162997367442.000442ff3b4bdbcfc7cdd"> map...</a>

Goldfields along Hwy. 178 going up the Kern River Canyon. map...

Goldfields along Hwy. 178 going up the Kern River Canyon. map... 602
164 <strong>Goldfields</strong>
<em>Lasthenia chrysoma</em>
Hwy. 178 Kern River Canyon, CA
March 22, 2007
In a good year, these pretty little  flowers paint the roadsides, fields and hillsides of southern California in gold. Unfortunately, we were not ...

Goldfields Lasthenia chrysoma Hwy. 178 Kern River Canyon, CA March 22, 2007 In a good year, these pretty little flowers paint the roadsides, fields and hillsides of southern California in gold. Unfortunately, we were not ...

Goldfields Lasthenia chrysoma Hwy. 178 Kern River Canyon, CA March 22, 2007 In a good year, these pretty little flowers paint the roadsides, fields and hillsides of southern California in gold. Unfortunately, we were not there in a good year. :(


clr: 5-y
889
165 I was racing the clock to get this shot of the  Popcorn flowers in the field before the sun dropped too far below the horizon. The white flowers almost looked like snow! This was taken along Hwy. 158 coming down from Isabella Lake.

I was racing the clock to get this shot of the Popcorn flowers in the field before the sun dropped too far below the horizon. The white flowers almost looked like snow! This was taken along Hwy. 158 coming down from Isabella Lake.

I was racing the clock to get this shot of the Popcorn flowers in the field before the sun dropped too far below the horizon. The white flowers almost looked like snow! This was taken along Hwy. 158 coming down from Isabella Lake. 456
166 <strong>Rusty-haired Popcorn Flower</strong>
<em>Plagiobothrys nothofulvus</em> / Borage Family
Hwy. 158
March 24, 2007
Some hillsides along the highway were covered with these pretty white flowers.

Rusty-haired Popcorn Flower Plagiobothrys nothofulvus / Borage Family Hwy. 158 March 24, 2007 Some hillsides along the highway were covered with these pretty white flowers.

Rusty-haired Popcorn Flower Plagiobothrys nothofulvus / Borage Family Hwy. 158 March 24, 2007 Some hillsides along the highway were covered with these pretty white flowers.


clr: 1-w
760
167 <strong>California Poppy</strong>
<em>Eschscholzia californica</em> / Poppy Family
Gorman, CA
March 22, 2007
We saw California Poppies scattered around the roadsides, but not the huge fields that I had hoped to enjoy.

California Poppy Eschscholzia californica / Poppy Family Gorman, CA March 22, 2007 We saw California Poppies scattered around the roadsides, but not the huge fields that I had hoped to enjoy.

California Poppy Eschscholzia californica / Poppy Family Gorman, CA March 22, 2007 We saw California Poppies scattered around the roadsides, but not the huge fields that I had hoped to enjoy. 443
168 This was one of the few views we got to see of the Poppy fields. I saw these high on the hillsides of the Kern River Canyon.

This was one of the few views we got to see of the Poppy fields. I saw these high on the hillsides of the Kern River Canyon.

This was one of the few views we got to see of the Poppy fields. I saw these high on the hillsides of the Kern River Canyon. 523
169 <strong>Sacred Datura</strong>

Sacred Datura

Sacred Datura 817

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