Posts Tagged With: wildflower shows

FREE SPEECH AND YOUR OWN BACKYARD

Sue, my CPA’s assistant, handed back my tax  package and told me that when she first moved to California, she picked a California Wild Poppy and a friend told her it was against the law to pick that flower since it is the California State flower. We both chuckled because I had had the exact same experience when I first moved to California. I’ve yet to hear of anyone getting arrested, but given what has happened to Michigan’s arbutus, Florida’s corals, Louisiana’s Cypress and thousands of other natural treasures, maybe our law makers had the right idea. We respect this beauty.

I don’t know what flower covers these hillsides on the grapevine, but how can one not be thrilled at this gorgeous show of tiny plants so numerous they form acres of carpet. Obviously, someone is tired of wild flowers in my blog since I received a sarcastic anonymous comment. I’m a true believer in free speech and I might have published it if the writer had had guts enough to leave a name.

Spectacular wild flowers are a treat that make us temporarily forget those long, wet, cold days of rain it took to bring them out. I saw the desert in bloom for the first time, but in my own backyard, there is plenty of beauty. On the way home from my tax appointment I took pictures of  the redbuds that put on a show every year on the side of the road.

Lupines in some places were much thicker than this patch, but these were closer to the road. They are tall and full this year.

The white ceanothus is often referred to as wild white lilac around here. It contrasts beautifully with the redbud and is plentiful right now.

Poppies and deep purple vetch make a good show from a distance even in this snarl of grass. Filieree blooms, bright yellow monkey flowers, some indian paint brush and  another bright orange plant scaling the steep canyon walls where the road was too narrow to stop, made my drive such pleasure. I hope this inspires you drive slowly and enjoy the show instead of hurrying by without appreciating the beauty in your own back yard.

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JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK

From Mary’s desk:
I once heard Joshua Tree described as a bunch of rocks and cactus. And it is. Wouldn’t I like to have one of these spectacular rock formations in my back yard to wake up to each morning?  The rocks gradually turned from grayish brown to golden as the sun rose around the bowl of rocks we settled in. We arrived at night and the stars were set crystals.  Obviously a special place, before we ever ventured out to see cactus in bloom and the desert wildflowers.

Once fully lit, the rocks were a child’s playground, and since we just happened to have children with us, know that this was a “mountain climbing” adventure of great beauty and adventure. We big kids enjoyed the easy climbs on giant granite too.

Above, young adults who may want to challenge a mountain some day, find friendly, shear rock faces a great place to practice with mountain climbing equipment. They were having a great time and we watched them get over the top. Safe to say, this is a rock climbing heaven.

Joshua trees live in a narrow band and are forever protected from development where housing is mowing them down on private lands. Not a true tree, they wait for a wet year, like their cactus cousins, to bloom. This was one of those years where the odd looking fibrous “tree” gave quite a show of football sized blooms.

We drove to areas of the park that had stands of Joshua, Cholla and other desert beauties also in bloom with the unusually wet weather. And, we hiked to an oasis created by a fissure in the rocks. We weren’t disappointed. On the way home we made a distant stop near Antelope Valley to see the poppy preserve. More on the hike, and desert wildflowers tomorrow. If you’re going, the parks website link follows.

http://www.nps.gov/jotr/index.htm  (I couldn’t get this link to work, sorry.)

For my web album of pictures click the link below:
http://picasaweb.google.com/1579penn/40810JoshaTreeNatPkl#

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