Monday, March 20, 2017

Springtime Splendor of the Desert

Come the Spring
With all its Splendor.
All its Birds and All its Blossoms.
All its Flowers, and Leaves, and Grasses.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

 Happy First Day of Spring, Friends!

When we lived in Minnesota, the first day of spring always seemed a little anticlimactic ... as there was still usually a few more weeks of snow and ice and cold and possibly a blizzard or two!

What the heck???
14 inches of snow in Rochester, Minnesota
on May 2, 2013

And after spending the winter in the warm desert, it seems funny to think of this as "spring" when the weather has been more like "summer". Nonetheless, we are finding that there is something special about this time of year ... and want to share with you the springtime splendor of the desert.

Southern California received an "impressive" amount of rainfall since January. As a result, the fields and mountainsides are sporting beautiful shades of green, white, yellow, pink, and purple. The desert "super-bloom" has brought out wildflowers that the locals haven't seen in a number of years.

Desert Lavender ... such a wonderful aroma!

Whether we are hiking in the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains, Joshua Tree National Park, Anza Borrego State Park, Thousand Palms Oasis Reserve, or just across the road from our current "home" at Sam's Family Spa, we have enjoyed searching out, identifying and photographing the springtime splendor that surrounds us.

Purple Notch-leaved Phacelia would delight any Minnesota Vikings fan, but don't get too close as the leaf oils may cause a slight rash. I accidently tested it, and yes, they do.

The unique Joshua Trees are reaching towards the heavens as they prepare to burst open their blooms. We hope to get back to the national park this coming week to see how they progressed ... will report back!

Beavertail cactus are sporting great numbers of blooms ... each ready to burst with beauty. One winter visitor, eager to see the whole cactus in bloom before he heads back north, has been watering a particular cactus each day.

But we, like our little friend and "budding" photographer Athena, are happy to enjoy the blossoms in whatever stage they are in!

Tiny white Popcorn flowers can make the desert floor appear to sparkle as if covered with a light blanket of snowflakes.

Sometimes you have to search for the blossoms. The tiny Nipple cactus hides its blooms under the protection of a larger shrub.

The Brittlebush's sap, the source of desert chewing gum, is now hidden under a yellow canopy of flowers.

The Desert Star daisy poked its shy blossoms out from around the rocks and sand in the desert wash.

Sand Verbena may have small low lying flowers, but they show their power by transforming desolate areas into royal purple patches.

I love the way the "hairs" of the Checker Fiddleneck capture the rays of sunlight!

Desert Lupine enjoy shooting their purple blossoms high between the rocks in the surrounding mountains.

The Desert Chicory's notched petals opened to the sunlight remind me of hands raised in praise of the warmth.

Who could complain about dandelions in their yard if they were the Desert Dandelion variety? Following this wet winter, they are currently blanketing the hillsides with their bright yellow smiles.

What a treat to find these wild Canterbury Bells ringing in the arrival of spring as we walked along the canyon near our RV park!

Apricot Mallow was the only orange wildflower that we encountered, making it beautiful and unique,

... and reminding me of one of my favorite dogs who happens to have a owner who LOVES orange!

Bigelow's Monkeyflower carpeted the pathways leading to a desert oasis.

The Ocotillo cactus showed its appreciation for the extra rain by reaching its brilliant green leaves and red-orange flowers up high in praise of the Great Rain Maker.

I have always loved the smell of a lily, and the whole field filled with the fragrance of these Desert Lilies did not disappoint!

Yes, we are grateful to be here in the desert to ...

Welcome the Spring
With all its Splendor.

All its Birds

and All its Blossoms.

All its Flowers

and Leaves,

and Grasses.

Until next time ... Bloom with Happiness ... and enjoy the adventures in your life!

The flowers are so bright that I have to wear shades!

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