Monday, April 12, 2010
Joshua Tree National Park
Monday: (04/12) We settled in to our campsite in some BLM land just outside the South gate to the park.
Tuesday: (04/13) Lou started the day with a walk up onto and down the levee that parallels the Colorado aqueduct next to our campsite. Last year she didn't climb up that due to her injured knee so this year she gets to see over the pile of dirt. Lou fixed ham and eggs with fried potatoes for breakfast.
We drove up the road toward the park and stopped just before the hills at the last exhibit pullout. This is where we found the great flowers last year.
This year is evidently a bit too late for most but some flowers were still around. the flowers above are quite short. These were in the sand in the wash.
Some flowers have not been seen previously.
Some are vivid.
Some not so vivid and some ornamental.
Many of the better flowers on this walk were quite small like the above.
We walked down the wash by the hills then returned through the flat area away from the hill. Fortunately we did because we came upon a nice large desert tortoise that posed for a picture.
When we got back to the car some other visitors had just arrived and offered to take our picture. We don't appear in photos as often as flowers but this one turned out.
We drove on into the park to the visitor center and then out to Cottonwood Oasis where we had our lunch on a nice rock in the wash. I had had enough hiking for the day so we returned to camp.
Lou fixed a pork chop with brown rice and pineapple broccoli slaw. We enjoyed a nice campfire with some new neighbors Cathy and Paul and their dog Duchess.
Wednesday: (04/14) We took a morning walk around the campground to see who arrived. When we returned I fixed Don McMuffins for breakfast.
After breakfast we drove up to Cottonwood Springs and walked down the wash then up a smaller wash to the real trail, about a mile and a half wash walk. Lots of flowers on the way, some new.
The real trails head up hill and into a more arid area. We walked down the wash instead and enjoyed some really nice flower displays. Some were quite ornate.
Some big. These were all over the rocky sides of the wash.
Some were more rare. This is the only flower like this we saw. We came upon this view of a rock that looks very much like a profile of Elvis, is you're resting up looking out to where you've been.
These are some of the interesting flowers. The one on the right has a very different construction.
We came upon some exposed water in the wash and at this area we found polliwogs in the thin layer of water.
Further up the wash we came upon a small oasis where Lou rested. The red flower on the right has not been seen previously nor since, just a few groups along this wash.
These long yellow flowers were in abundance. These pale purple daisy like flowers so i took another picture of them.
This flower was almost missed. Lou was sitting down on a rock near them. I had already passed by but when i returned to Lou, I spotted the plant, the only one we saw. It has very shiny silk like petals.
Of course the was some fauna as well. Catching this butter fly was time consuming since it kept moving on just as I got zoomed in on it. The lizard was a better subject and posed nicely.