• Claret Cup cactus flower

    "Silently a flower blooms, in silence it falls away. Yet here now, at this moment, at this place, the world of the flower, the whole of the world is blooming." - Zenkei Shibayam

  • Lupines and Poppies in Cottonwood Wash

    "When bright flowers bloom, parchment crumbles, my words fade, the pen has dropped ..." -  Morpheus

  • Mojave Yucca silhouette at sunrise

    "There is a desert I long to be walking.  A wide emptiness, peace beyond any understanding of it." - Rumi

  • Desert Five Spot in Death Valley National Park

    "Who would have thought it possible that a tiny little flower could preoccupy a person so completely that there simply wasn't room for any other thought."  -  Sophie Scholl

  • Hairy Desert Sunflower in southern Death Valley

    "From my rotting body, flowers shall grow and I am in them and that is eternity." - Edvard Munch

  • Fremont Phacelia in Pioneertown, CA

    "To create a little flower is the labor of ages." -  William Blake

  • Desert Mariposa Lily in Joshua Tree National Park

    "There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." - Anaïs Nin  

  • Desert Sand Verbena in the morning rain

    "Give me odorous at sunrise a garden of beautiful flowers where I can walk undisturbed."  - Walt Whitman

  • Brittlebush on Mission Creek road

    "None can have a healthy love for flowers unless he loves the wild ones."  -  Forbes Watson


  • Desert Lily in Anza Borrego Desert State Park

    "Lone and erect, beneath light's primal flood, A lily!  and pure as any one of you." -  Mallarmé

  • Delicate Sandblossoms at Red Rock Canyon State Park, CA

    "In the hope of reaching the moon men fail to see the flowers that blossom at their feet."  -  Albert Schweitzer 

  • Poppies and Smoke Trees in the Sonoran desert

    "For myself I hold no preferences among flowers, so long as they are wild, free, spontaneous." - Edward Abbey

  • Desert Star in the eastern Mojave

    "Are not flowers the stars of the earth, and are not our stars the flowers of the heavens?" - A.J. Balfour

Desert News & Features

Desert Wildflower Report-3-17-2017, Pipes Canyon

Fremont Phacelia in Pioneertown, CA
Baby Blue Eyes in Pipes Canyon
Pinyon Rockcress on the desert slopes of the San Bernardino Mtns.

It was still relatively early for flowers in the high desert at 4,500 ft, though some plants were just beginning to bloom. Fremont Phacelia is always an early arrival as are Baby Blue Eyes and the tender Gilia genus. Two rare plants, Pinyon Rockcress and San Bernardino Milkvetch were both in flower. In 2 or 3 weeks this area will have many more blossoms.

The following plants were found in bud or bloom in Pipes Canyon near Yucca Valley.

Desert Wildflower Report-3-16-2017, Sand to Snow National Monument (Whitewater)

Douglas' Milkvetch in the Sand to Snow Nat'l. Monument
Wild Canterbury Bells near Whitewater River
Texas Paintbrush at Sand to Snow National Monument

Whitewater Preserve, now part of Sand to Snow National Monument was much cooler than Anza Borrego, and the plants were just getting started in this area. We found Douglas' Milkvetch, Sticky Monkeyflower, Texas Paintbrush, Deerweed, Narrow Leaved Willow, Sugar Bush and Silver Bird's Foot Trefoil. Most of these species are associated with chaparral rather than desert, but do occur in desert margins.

Wildflower Travelogue

Southward We Go

Mojave Trails National Monument encompasses 1.6 million acres of land in the Mojave Desert. There are countless dirt roads running through it that I had not explored, and the one leading to our campsite on the north side of the Sheephole Mountains was one of them. The vegetation was typical Creosote Bush scrub, lovely in their relative uniformity and providing a swath of olive green across the landscape. A dirt road ran off to the north in a completely straight line, perhaps 20 miles or more.

View of Mojave Trails National Monument
Desert Lavender in bloom
Ammunition shells left in the desert after target practice
Spanish Needle in Sheephole Valley Wilderness

Matter Out of Place

Morning at the edge of Highway 127 couldn't come quickly enough for me. My eyes flew open at first light and I got myself outside to get a daylight view of the flowers. The previous evening's LED flashlight revealed the species but none of the delicacy of colors or textures. I scouted around while the Catman continued to rest. We were parked at the Dumont Dunes OHV area as it was easier than venturing down Harry Wade Rd. in the dark.

Tamarisk trees at Salt Creek near Death Valley
Salt Creek Area of Critical Environmental Concern
Pencil Cholla near Kelso Dunes
Granite Mountains with beautiful vegetation

Escape from Snow to Sand

Monday, February 21st was a crazy weather day in northern California. We traveled to Lake Tahoe for a night of fun on the 20th to a mix of rain and snow. By the morning of the 21st, there was six inches of snow on the ground and it was still falling. There were avalanche warnings in the area nearby and we wanted out. The climb over Brockway Summit was somewhat treacherous.

Major snowstorm at Lake Tahoe
Walker Lake, NV
Main street, Tonopah, NV
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