Sunday, March 27, 2016

Further Adventures in the Wild

As I documented last time, we've been going on hikes about every week this winter.  This week we added a day trip to Joshua Tree National Park to our weekly outdoor activities and it was a lot of fun.

I had read in the paper last Sunday that the Joshua Trees were in bloom and were very abundant this year.  Not having been to the park in about 20 years, and never having seen a tree in bloom, we asked some friends to go and drove up there last Monday morning.  We drove east to the far entrance to the park, entered there, and then drove diagonally across the whole thing, stopping when we saw something interesting.

This garden of Cholla cacti was impressive.


They were in various stages of bloom and were really pretty.  The color of the flower is not as eye catching as the Beaver tail pink blossom but I loved the pale green, delicate blossoms.





We passed some amazing rock formations and stopped to take photos of this one that looks like a skull.



 It was getting pretty windy but it was still nice, so we stopped for a picnic lunch and happened on some blooming Joshua Trees.  The blossom is the white thing on the end of the branch just off my left shoulder.  Sometimes you really have to look for them to find them.



We took a short hike near Barker Dam, a structure constructed by early cattlemen in 1900.  Now it collects whatever water is available to be enjoyed by the desert wildlife.


Walking through there, we came upon more trees and were able to study the blooms, which look almost like pineapples  from a distance.  The individual blossoms look like they don't really open in a showy manner, but grow a seed pod inside each one, which then falls.  In any case, it was interesting to see them up close.



This morning we decided to hike to the cross which sits atop a mountain trail here in Palm Desert.



 There were a lot of people and dogs out this morning, but we made it and then went down a back way, avoiding the crowds but coming out in a swanky neighborhood that's being developed.  They didn't seem to mind us walking down their road to get back to the trail along the canal that led us back to the car.  We found an oasis of green along the way and some flowers.





Very up and down today; my phone told me I'd gone 11,150 steps, 4.5 miles and climbed 63 floors.  I don't know how exact those numbers are, but it was definitely a climb!

And just for some more pretty, here's a photo I took on my walk through the park last Thursday.  I sent it in to the local TV station and they aired it on their evening news as one of the viewers' weather photos.  Cool!






Happy Sunday and Happy Easter!

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