Monday, January 31, 2011
Official name is Big Morongo Canyon Preserve. 247 bird species have been recorded, but when I go, I see one or two. Last time a hawk sat high in a tree. (I have learned that IDing a hawk is probably the hardest thing to do so I'll stick with "hawk)I also saw a Black Phoebe and a Northern Flicker. This time a couple woodpeckers caught my eye and a little sparrow size guy with a red cap.
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Sunday, January 23, 2011
Today, I found another pretty hike at Joshua Tree, only about a mile long and each turn was a different site, a different plant, a different view. It started up high and circled down into a wash where you could tell flash flooding was frequent, and then back up in a big loop. I would love to try it again in a couple months to see what spring looks like.
That's the Marine Base way out in the distance. My husband said after a couple weeks here in the desert, he'd seen enough desert to last a life time. I guess like trees in Washington State, you seen one tree you've seen then all. Well I see changes every day and so much beauty.
You wouldn't think there was such a diversity of plants in the desert, but on a short hike I saw so many different plants. Jojoba, the small green leaf plant is well liked by both small rodents and Mountain Sheep alike. Its seeds are oily and is being used commercially now.
The cactus is Beaver Tail and there wasn't a lot of it around. The dark gray trunk is Desert Willow, a plant that lives in the washes and low areas to get water by sending its roots deep into the ground. The Yucca is a very interesting plant. It is pollinated by a moth that only lives in the flowers and it's larvae bore into the seeds. Pencil Cactus seems to come in two colors, a red tinged one and a light green variety. Another cactus variety is the Chola, stay well away, it latches on and wont come off. Some of the plants are pretty even dormant or dead. The rusty red plant is very strange. Its dead but looks more like a vine that draped itself over a plant.