Sunday, March 29, 2015

A Rewarding Walk Down the West Canyon Trail at the Big Morongo Canyon Preserve

Since Joshua Tree National Park has been so busy with everyone trying to see the flowers, I thought I'd take a different tack and see what was happening at the Big Morongo Canyon Preserve. While birding with friends last week, my friend Margaret (birder extraordinaire) mentioned there were lots of flowers on the West Canyon Trail, so I got up early on Saturday and took a little walk down the trail. I was rewarded with lush vegetation and (Margaret was right) an abundance of flowers all along the trail. I only met one person on the way back, so I pretty much had all this beauty to myself. A fine morning indeed.

West Canyon Trail View 
Caterpiller and Phacelia




Still Life

Sunday, March 22, 2015

An Amazing Event on the First Day of Spring

On the first day of Spring, we went with some friends to the Barker Dam area, where two large boulders lean together to form a cave-like overhang. Apparently, this cave was used by the Chemehuevi and Serrano Indians as a fertility site and also marks the first day of Spring. We arrived close to noon, but had to wait until almost one before the 'sword or arrow of light' appeared. It all happens very quickly and never fails to amaze. You can read the whole story here on Death Valley Jim's Blog

The Two Rocks 
The First Sign of Light

The Arrow or Sword of Light

Approaching the Hole in the Mortar Rock

Entering the 'Body' of the Mortar Rock

Sunday, March 15, 2015

A Sunday Morning Walk at Covington Park and Big Morongo Canyon Preserve

On Sunday mornings, I always like to start my day over at Covington Park, because the light hits the tree tops in that area first. I then meander about, amongst the Cottonwoods and grassy fields, taking in the fragrant, earthy scents and listening to the birds sing their chirpy, lyrical songs. This morning while there, I noticed a meadow of yellow flowers in the distance. I headed over, took a few shots and then moved on along the stream towards the Mesquite Trail area, where there were plentiful displays of Canterbury bells on the hillsides. All in all, a very rewarding morning indeed.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

A Great Day For 'Cloud Chasing'

After the recent rain, we jumped in the car and headed down towards Cottonwood at the southern end of the Park. The clouds were phenomenal, constantly shifting and changing as we drove. We went as far as Smoke Tree Wash, where we had a nice little lunch in some rocks, out of the wind, and then headed back. Here are a few pics from our trip. It looks very promising for flowers now that the temperatures are in the mid-70's. I noticed the Desert Marigolds are already out, the Joshua Trees have blooms and the Ocotillos are starting to 'flame up'. Better hurry on down y'all.

Pinto Basin View

Cholla Garden

Ocotillo and Clouds

Smoke Tree Wash

Jumbo Rocks

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Ay Lad, There's Rain in Tiparrary!

I awoke early this morning to find it raining, so instead of my usual stroll, I thought I would drive in to the Park and see if I could get some 'rain' pictures. The drive in seemed so surreal, with John Coltrane on the radio, the rain pelting down... I thought, 'what am I doing?!' I could be home in bed, nice and warm. I kept trying to get out of the car and take some pictures, but that didn't seem to work, so I thought, I'll just shoot out the windows as I drive through. I got as far as Sheep's Pass and turned around, by this time, my stomach was growling for breakfast. With all this rain, we're sure to have a good Spring Flowering, so make sure you make your reservations soon. See you then.