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Anza Borrego desert in bloom

thez_yo

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Well, it's not quite death valley, but I did make it out to Anza Borrego park yesterday. It's been raining a lot this past winter, including yesterday (at least coastally) so all of the mountains are unbelievably green this year. Here's the view on the approach towards the desert from Desert View Park:

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It almost looks like something out of the Alps in comparison to what I'm used to the area looking like. Everything's growing!
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I'm used to just boulders and cactuses here.
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The first pull-off:
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A closer view
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It's so green it looks like this baby cactus is growing in a field of grass
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Some of the critters
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So I'm taking a picture of that last insect and I hear something buzz past me. A bee? Another huge beetle? I recognize this sound... so I look around.
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A hummingbird in the desert!
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Ok, back to the plants...
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The second pull off, next to the camping grounds on the way to the park HQ
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Notice how the spines make hooks? I didn't notice it until after I looked at my pictures when I got home, although my shoes and pants being covered in cactus spines out in the desert should have been the first hint.

Oooh more flowers!
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and critters
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It's hard to take it all in because the scenery in general and the individual flowers themselves look so amazing
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Only a few plants were bringing up the tail end of the bloom season
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thez_yo

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The Park HQ
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Inside they have some exhibits on the flora and fauna of the park, maps, and people to answer questions about the park. It was crowded, so I didn't take pics inside and just escaped asap and took pics of the plants they have around the center instead:
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Not everybody gets the weekend off. Somebody's gotta pollinate the flowers!
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Ocotillo up close
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By the side of the road at Henderson Canyon Rd
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You can tell you're getting close to, or are inside of the park because of all the ocotillos. Just outside of the park
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Its flowers up close and personal
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Oooh more pretty flowers!
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(and bugs)
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And holes. I don't want to know what lives in them. They're everywhere.
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It looks like the pink flowered cactuses aren't everywhere and that the dominant color is yellow at least at this spot.

The park is surprisingly non-flat
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The last site, about an hour before the sun hid behind the mountains. There were only a few pink cactuses here too.
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Shadows from the mountains covering the ground
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Critters in the flowers
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Why not make a flower your bed for the night?
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There are a pile of good webpages to look at to see how the flowers are coming along, but this one has a nice bar on it. It looks like there's still time to come visit if you're on the fence: Anza Borrego Desert State Park - Wildflower Reports - DesertUSA
 

bluemax

Lotsa blue
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Vancouver, Washington State, US
So many cactus varieties - cholla, beavertail, fish hook, barrel and all in bloom. Nice. Do you know what the blue-purple flowers are on the gray branches?
 
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thez_yo

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Location
Virginia, USA
Thanks :)

So many cactus varieties - cholla, beavertail, fish hook, barrel and all in bloom. Nice. Do you know what the blue-purple flowers are on the gray branches?

Unfortunately, nope. I think they have signs around the HQ near some of the intentionally-planted plants, but I'm not sure when I'll get out there again.
 
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