Desert in Bloom – Anza-Borrego
We had never been to Anza-Borrego and the spring bloom seemed like the right time. Wow, we happened to pick one of the best years out of the last five to make our trip and what an experience it was. Anza-Borrego is the largest of the California State Parks, covering over 600,000 acres and continues to grow. It is west of the Salton Sea and is best to visit anytime but the summer where temperatures can reach in the 120′s+. The park is named after Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza and the Spanish name borrego, or bighorn sheep. For those of you who have never seen the desert in spring, it is quite a sight. The normally dry and brown desert explodes with a carpet of colorful flowers. In some areas the bloom is as far as the eye can see. Reds, yellows, purples and white flowers cover the expanse. This year, the northern side of the park was in bloom with little to be seen in the southern portion. Mary and I could not take enough pictures. This is a photo rich area that is only around for a few weeks each year and then returns to the stark, harsh environment we so commonly associate with the desert. In one canyon, the Ghost flowers could be seen. They were limited to one patch on one hillside (at least where we could drive). I have included a picture above. Surprisingly, the weather this time of year, March, is very comfortable but a little warm. Be sure to bring water. Of particular interst is that it is not just the flowers that can catch you eye. While taking pictures, Mary thought she saw a Humming Bird and snaped this picture before she realized it was just a moth. When we got home and opened the image, we found it was a fabulous shot of a Humming Bird Moth feeding on a desert flower. What a great eye she has and what a great picture she took. Her new Nikon D90 helped a little. Enjoy!