Stunning! That's the word for the winter scenes in Joshua Tree National Park this season. The snowfall  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!

Monsoon Patterns

Monsoon Rains Mud Patterns

White Sage Heart

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White Sage is a sacred plant for many Native American tribes

      and is used to seek blessings of health & prosperity.

California's Golden Coast Coreopsis

Coreopsis Beauty

Fields of Gold. The Coreopsis wildflowers can be seen

on California's Channel Islands but rarely on the Southern

California Coast.         This is a rare sight, a rare delight.

Rainbow in Joshua Tree

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Double Rainbow Marks the first significant  rain in Joshua Tree

                           National Park in almost a year

Sierra Snow on Fall Leaves

Mountain Snows

Burrowing Owls California

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This endangered burrowing owl in flight, but still turning its

head to watch all around it.Stealthy Aircraft. Many newborns

                          this season, despite the drought.

Point Counterpoint

Point Counterpoint

           Crashing waves at Point Dume California

First Joshua Tree Bloom

Spring Awakening: First Joshua Tree Bloom

Amazing Clouds Palm Springs

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Calling Triple AAA Joshua Tree Snow Storm

Stranded in Time

Drone Over Salton Sea Mudpots

Drone view of "new" Salton Sea mudpots

"Fire Underground"

In 2016 I tracked down an area that was called the "new" Salton Sea mudpots, a geothermal zone that had been exposed by the receding lakeshore. It was a dangerous area, above boiling hot water, with no survey to confirm the solidity of the earth's crust there. Some people had fallen through and been severely burned. I didn't recommend it to people. Since then the county has closed-off the area, by covering the sandy flats with water, and turning it into a lake/swamp. They also used heavy equipment to cut deep mud furroughs into places surrounding the mudpots, so there could no longer be access from the ground. This video shows what it was like four years ago, and what it looks like now from a drone flight done with the aid of "drone master" Robert Stephenson, when we revisited the site recently...

What a Year!

Roadrunner, Salton Sea

Fall Impressions

Aspen Impressions

           Aspens at their Peak, Eastern Sierra California

Reflections on North Lake


Lake Spectacular

North Lake

                 Peak Season, North Lake High Sierra

Summer's End

Egret Takes Flight

Egret Takes Flight

Wildlife returns to the Los Angeles River

Rarest cactus in Joshua Tree National Park

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          The rarest cactus in Joshua Tree blooms again

Fire in the Sky

Fire in the Sky

Sunset in the Coachella Valley, Rancho Mirage, Palm Springs

                             with Mount San Jacinto

Eye on the Ocean

Eye on the Ocean

Smoke Tree in Bloom

Smoke Tree in Bloom

The Smoky foliage gives way to Spectacular Blue Flowers

Desert Lilies at Sunset

Joshua Tree National Park

  Desert Lilies can be found in the Mojave and Anza Borrego

but not often in Joshua Tree National Park where this is taken.

The Ledge: Bighorn Sheep

The Ledge

                         Bighorn Sheep on Patrol in Anza Borrego

Bluer Than Blue

Canterbury Bells

    Canterbury Bell Desert Wildflowers so Vivid this Year

San Jacinto Sunrise

San Jacinto Sunrise

                 The last big snowstorm of the Season

One Day Waterfall

Deluge of Rain March 2020 creates 1-day waterfall on Mount San Jacinto !

Massive rainfall triggers 1-day waterfall on Mount San Jacinto

                               See gallery for closeup.

"Goddess of the Rainforest" Milford Track New Zealand

"Goddess of the Rainforest"

The Milford Track is one of New Zealand"s "great walks", its hiking

trails. This trail leads through part of the Fiordland National Park.

It goes through some of the lushest rainforest areas on earth.

Milford Sound is the wettest place in New Zealand and one of the

                            wettest anywhere on earth

"Tree of Life" Routeburn Track New Zealand

Routeburn Track

Along the Routeburn Trail, a down tree in the rainforest gives

                      explosive new life to a host of plants.

Morton Peak Trail to Forest Falls

Natural Wreath: Overlooking  Forest Falls From Morton Peak

A "natural wreath" with red berries, looks out onto one

    of Southern California's most spectacular Views.

Keys View Joshua Tree In Snow

Keys View to San Jacinto

Hike to Keys View in Joshua Tree National Park after a snowstorm

closed the road to the Point. View to Mount San Jacinto. I was the

                                    only person at Keys.

Salton Sea Lake Swing

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"Lake Swing" art installation at Salton Sea to show its beauties

as well as the environmental crisis.  This work is "The Water

Ain't That Bad, It's Just Salty"  by Chris "Ssippi" Wessman &

                                  Damon James Duke.

Southern California Fall

Artists Palette

In the San Gorgonio Wilderness in South California's

mountains, the great winter & summer seasons this

year have given way to a memorable Autumn.

Golden Day

Golden Day

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..

Shining Bright

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 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.....



Alpine Columbine

Alpine Columbine

Rare find:..unusual colors of the alpine columbine..high above

                Lake Barney.....en route to Duck Pass..Sierra

Golden Light

Hot Creek Sunset

 Mount Morgan rarely has clouds at sunset.....: golden light over

                            Hot Creek...Sierra California

Bluest of the Blue

Bluest of the Blue

Hummingbird with the Agapanthus 'Huntington Blue': the most

                         intense blue of any agapanthus.

Sierra Moon

Sierra Moon

                                  Brightest moon of the Year

Eye to Eye: Bighorn Sheep

Eye to Eye

Bighorn Sheep in Yellowstone National Park.

Plummer's Mariposa Lily: Rare

Plummer's Mariposa Lily

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" San Gorgonio

"Dry Lake" San Gorgonio

"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.

Pencil Cholla

Pollinator at work!

The wildflower season continues! Best display of pencil cholla flowers

in Joshua Tree National Park in many years. Bees are busy!

San Gorgonio Summit

Mountain Chipmunk View from San Gorgonio Peak

"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"!

Pacific Crest Trail near Mexican Border

Kitchen Creek Falls, Pacific Crest Trail Section A

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!

Super Bloom

Desert Lilies in Joshua Tree

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.

Super Bloom

Eagle & the Raven

Soaring over Eagle Rock

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.

Rare Cactus in Joshua Tree

Rare Cactus

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!

Scaly Sand Plant

Forest of Desert pholisma or Scaly stemmed sand plants, Joshua Tree

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 cool!

Warren Peak Trail Joshua Tree

Warren Peak Trail 2022

Above The "Wonderland"

Above The Wonderland of Rocks In Joshua Tree National Park

Way off trail in Joshua Tree National Park is the unnamed Peak where this photo was taken from     It looks over the "Wonderland of Rocks".  Best scenic vista in the National Park?

San Gorgonio Brittlebush

Blaze of Brittlebush before San Gorgonio

                                            Desert Wildflowers

Fields of Gold despite the Drought

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