Stunning! That's the word for the winter scenes in Joshua Tree National Park this season. The snowfall in February reminds us of Mother Nature's regenerative power. The desert burst into new growth with water, the stuff of Life. This was the heaviest snowfall in a decade, and in some areas the heaviest in almost 20 years. It brought moments of surreal beauty. The snows fell not only in areas where the micro climate can bring cold weather more often , like the road to Keys or in Pioneertown and Yucca Valley. It also brought snow cover to lower elevations, with a snow pillow over the arch near White Tank, and with snow on the emerging spring wildflowers in Cottonwood. Here is a picture from Barker Dam, which now has more water than I can remember. Fantastic! Please check out the new "Galleries", with images from the dam, the typically "dry" water tanks, Ryan Mountain, the park's iconic features and its fields of flowers. It's already shaping as a "superbloom" for Spring!
In the San Gorgonio Wilderness in South California's
mountains, the great winter & summer seasons this
year have given way to a memorable Autumn.
Sunrise on North Lake in the Sierra. This year has been
spectacular with layers of aspens and other trees and
with golden reflections on the alpine lake waters..
Heading out for "10 Lakes" in Yosemite..but I started it late. On the way
I met the only other hikers..two girls who said they had just been
having a trail dispute. I thought maybe it was the same debate going on
in my mind: whether to turn back because of the late start. I asked if they
had seen any "tiger lilies" or small "leopard lilies"What are those..they asked
..as they had not. Another hour later I did turn back and at that stream where
I had spoken to the girls...this time there was a shaft of sunlight directly
onto ONE PLANT about 100 yards away..It was one tiger lily plant....a rare
plant anyway..but one that still was in flower. "Here I am" it seemed
to call out...just look around..and experience the moment in this place..letting
other plans and frustrations fall away.....
Rare find:..unusual colors of the alpine columbine..high above
Lake Barney.....en route to Duck Pass..Sierra
Mount Morgan rarely has clouds at sunset.....: golden light over
Hot Creek...Sierra California
Hummingbird with the Agapanthus 'Huntington Blue': the most
intense blue of any agapanthus.
Brightest moon of the Year
Bighorn Sheep in Yellowstone National Park.
Plummer's Mariposa Lily: Rare
One of the 28 species of Calochortus in California.This is Calochortus plummerae
Plummer's mariposa lily — rare. Found in the Angeles National Forest.
"Dry Lake" in the San Gorgonio Wilderness is often a dry meadow with no surface
water.Not this year!! Spectacular lake with reflections of the surrounding mountains.
The wildflower season continues! Best display of pencil cholla flowers
in Joshua Tree National Park in many years. Bees are busy!
"Mountain Chipmunk" enjoys the view towards Mount San Jacinto from the Summit of Mount San Gorgonio.. San G is the tallest mountain in Southern California.
Trail distance 17.5 miles or 28 kilometres, elevation gain 5800 feet or 1767 metres.
San Gorgonio height 11503 feet or 3506 metres. This was a snow hike at higher elevations, before the spring melt.
It's the tallest peak in Joshua Tree National Park: Quail Mountain. It is 5816 feet, and it provides an entirely different view on the park and on other landmarks. Here is Mount San Jacinto (elevation 10833) covered in the heavy snows of this season, and with a bird "Flying High"!
Rare Sight: The start of the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada is usually dry. Not this season!! Waterfalls, lakes and creeks are running, adding rare beauty to the beginning of the great trek!
The 2019 wildflower Super Bloom in Southern California was remarkable. It brought the end of a long drought, and some of the best wildflower blooms seen in Joshua Tree National Park, Anza Borrego, the Coachella Valley, Lake Elsinore and Carrizo Plain.
Eagle & the Raven
The "Eagle and the Raven":..Eagle Rock is a spectacular feature on the Pacific Crest Trail section A. This year brought some wildflowers to the base of this remarkable rock formation, as a raven flew overhead.
Discovery! This cactus (Grizzly Bear Cactus Opuntia erinacea) is found in a few places in Joshua Tree National Park but with bright yellow flowers. This one found at a remote site, has red flowers: extremely rare!
This is the Scaly stemmed sand plant (Desert Pholisma), Joshua Tree. It is rarely
seen in the national park, but this season I came upon a small "forest" of these
amazing miniature plants.....so cool!