First, just to get you oriented, here's Southern California. The park doesn't get a specific outline here, but it positions it (for those of you who wondered last week, look up north of I 40 near Needles and you'll see the general location of the Mojave National Preserve). Anza-Borrego is California's largest state park, at over 600,000 acres.
Now, I know that many of you think of desert, and this is what you think of: bare, hot, dry, and nothing grows there.
|Font's Point at sunset.|
|Starting off early up Borrego Palm Canyon, among the brittlebush.|
|Hare in the early morning, near the Borrego Springs campground.|
One of the delightful surprises is water in the desert. There is a year-round creek in Borrego Palm Canyon (I hope it still is. Three years of severe drought could have changed that).
|Water lets all sorts of plants and animals thrive.|
The signature feature of the area is, in my mind, the California Fan Palm oases. Left to themselves, the palms will grow their "skirts" of dead fronds all the way to the ground. Some idiots think it's cool to set them on fire, and sadly very few groves have escaped this vandalism. Some of have destroyed. I can only wish infestations of ticks, chiggers, and tse-tse flies on the idiots who did it.
|A small grove well up the canyon. Some of the trees look burned; others were denuded and uprooted in a flash flood that came down the canyon in, I think, 2009.|
|Showering in a waterfall up Hellhole Canyon.|
|Ocatillo at the mouth of Hellhole Canyon. The trees and green mark the town of Borrego Springs.|
Gratuitous flower photos:
|Prickly pear in bloom. Note the pollinator.|
|Ocatillo blossom. Ocatillo only grow leaves (and bloom) when they have enough water. The rest of the time, they look like sticks.|
|Have to look this one up.|
|Christmas Tree Circle in Borrego Springs.|
©Rebecca M. Douglass, 2015