Monday, March 1, 2010

Wildflower Safari


One of the best things about this Grand Adventure that we're on is getting the opportunity to explore places we might not make the effort to get to if we were at home. This weekend, we headed out to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and went on a wildflower safari!

I can't even begin to tell you how much fun it was to stalk, with camera in hand, through the wild desert landscape and come upon a mass of blooming flowers. It was like the ultimate Easter Egg Hunt with a twist. You had to be very careful where you were walking and take a good look before you knelt down (yes, I learned this the hard way!) because the number of plants and animals that are willing to run you through and take you down out there are innumerable. And let me just say that pulling Cholla cactus spines out of any body part is not a pleasant experience. I still find myself looking carefully where I'm stepping. (Can you be psychologically damaged from a wrestling match with a cactus?)

The other thing that stuck with me (yuck, yuck) is that the majority of these flowers are so delicate, and so fleeting. In such a harsh landscape, you expect the big strong cactus and creosote bushes and agave but stumbling upon flowers with paper-thin petals and delicate tiny leaves was so surprising...and confounding.

Another interesting dynamic was seeing a delicate, beautiful flower perched on top of a frightful plant body. It was like the face of a supermodel with Rambo's appendages. Bizarre and strangely disturbing. Take the Desert Lily, for example. Those leaves! What the hell is that? I was afraid to take my eyes off of it for fear that, when I wasn't looking, it would slither over , grab my ankle and toss me into the closest cactus. Creepy!

With all of the rain this year, they should have a bumper crop of color extravaganza out there in the desert so if you happen to be heading to this corner of the world between late February to about mid-March, it really is worth the effort to get out and stalk that elusive desert sunflower! Happy almost Spring!


If you want more info, check out my article at Examiner.com. For more photos, I put up a web album here. Yes, I went crazy with the photos. Over 200. I just couldn't stop. I was like a soon-to-be bride at the basement sale of Filene's. But, not to worry, I only put up about 35 or so.

3 comments:

Sarah { bee house hives } said...

Amazing photos right back to you! These are so pretty. I would have freaked out at those leaves.. you would have heard me screaming for mile and miles.. looks like a snake! Yikes!
What a neat trip.

MoonstruckinMontana said...

Ha, funny, when I came upon it I think I did let out a little squeek. They were even more creepy in person. Such a beautiful flower to be attached to such a weird body.

Thanks for the comment, Sarah.

6512 and growing said...

Love the comment on the desert lily. Desert plants are clever.

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