Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

The Anza-Borrego Desert gets its name from Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza, who crossed the desert in 1774, and the Spanish word for sheep (“borrego”). Those would be native bighorn sheep. This desert preserve is California’s largest state park, more than 600,000 acres.

We drove out last month to check out the blooms in the desert and at first were disappointed. After the Superbloom in Walker Canyon, everything else kind of paled. But when I got home and reviewed my photos I realized the desert is really beautiful in its own way. Plus the yearly annual rainfall is only 6.18 inches, so it’s unfair to compare.

Still we did manage to find a few wildflowers….

White flowers don’t show up as well.

I really like those little clouds that look like puffs of smoke. The sky was deep beautiful blue as usual.

Not sure what the white stuff is, but it looked like a salt flat from a distance. We went the other way, so never saw it up close.

The landscape is so different out there….

The weather was beautiful while we were there, but the average temp in July is 107F (41.6C).

This reminds me of the Badlands in South Dakota.

Here you can see how sandy the terrain is. It’s very soft, loose sand, so you have to be careful if you’re not driving an SUV.

We were curious about the Salton Sea, but didn’t have time, so got this shot from a distance. The history of this body of water is pretty sad, which you can read more about here.

A few more purple and yellow wildflowers. Next time I’ll focus on the town in this park, Borrego Springs.

Great weekend, everyone!


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The Almost Forgotten Video

Oh, I meant to attach this video to my last post and just plain forgot. I hope you don’t mind one more look at the poppies. Not sure why the video’s a little jerky–the version on my iPhone isn’t at all. I’m not really a video person, but should really try shooting one on my “good” camera.

Great weekend, everyone!


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Superbloom 2019 Part II

Welcome back to Superbloom, or as some are calling it, The Poppy Apocalypse.

Here’s another shot of the Elsinore Mountains with the poppies in the foreground.

Really can’t get over the colors.

The terrain is so unusual too.

This is the trail I was hiking.

I’m hearing that the Walker Canyon poppies are getting trampled, but there are other sites where you can view them, according to Condé Nast Traveler:

Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve in Murrieta
Harford Springs Reserve in Perris
Box Springs Mountain Reserve in Moreno Valley and
Hidden Valley Wildlife Area in Riverside

All in California. I have not visited these areas, but hopefully they can handle crowds better.

Great weekend, everyone!


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Superbloom 2019 Part I

As I said, I took a lot of photos at Walker Canyon, so will divide them into two parts.

I forgot to mention that the sky was insanely blue that day. We have such beautiful skies in the winter. I love the contrast between the green and orange here.

Someone said the orange looked like Nacho Cheese Doritos or Cheetos dust and I have to agree. 🙂

You may have seen on the news that they had to close the canyon one day because enormous crowds were showing up and they couldn’t handle them. The parking situation is pretty bleak–just a one lane road with cars parked on both sides. I got there in the morning, but was still concerned I wouldn’t get a spot. Luckily some people left right as I was driving by.
When I left, the backup on the Interstate was five miles long. Now it’s much worse.

It was strange to see a dried up riverbed when we’ve had so much rain.

A closer look at the California poppies.

Gradually more people showed up and were taking lots of selfies. I was glad to see that they were being careful to not trample the wildflowers. I was happy to stay on the path, because rattlesnake season has started and someone got bitten last week.

Then across the freeway, the Elsinore Mountains. Not quite as colorful, but lovely still.

An artist was carrying an easel and paints when I was leaving. Wish I could see his finished painting.

More next week….

Great weekend, everyone!


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Poppy Superbloom Preview

You may or may not have heard of California’s “Superbloom” that happened two years ago. They’re pretty rare–there must be adequate rainfall and moderate temps–but we have another one this year. I missed the last one so was happy to catch the amazing poppies near Lake Elsinore. Here’s a preview….

The colors really are that intense. I’ve never seen anything like it. Reminds me of those pyramids of spices you see in India. The tiny dots at the top are people.
I took a lot of photos, so will post them next week.

Great weekend, everyone!


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Lit From Within

I haven’t been doing much photography lately due to all the rain, so I’m digging into the archives for this shot of Gerbera daisies.

The Gerbera is named for German botanist and doctor Traugott Gerber who was a friend of Carl Linnaeus. It is the fifth most popular cut flower in the world, according to Wiki.

“Linnaeus” seems to be a common answer on the TV program Jeopardy. I was saddened to hear that the host, Alex Trebek, has Stage IV pancreatic cancer. I hope he can beat it. We so enjoyed the live taping.

Great weekend, everyone….


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Truly Wacky Weather

Did you hear it snowed in Vegas (twice)? And in Malibu? We don’t have snow, but there’s a lot of it in the mountains just 40 minutes away. We’ve had cool temps in the 40s but I had to laugh when I saw this banner on the screen the other day:

via NBC7SanDiego

I guess it’s all perspective, huh!

Anyway, flowers are starting to bloom and I captured this the other day….

I’m not sure if this is a flowering pear or wild plum. Believe it or not, we haven’t had much sun this month. It rained for five straight days last week, which is really unusual. Lots of rain this week, but we need it to combat drought conditions. They’re saying we could have another “superbloom” in California. I’m thinking of driving out to see the desert flowers this year.

Great weekend, everyone!


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Back Again

I’m happy to say I’m just about back to my old self, and am very grateful. Just being able to do normal things again is wonderful.

My husband was fantastic and helped me out a great deal. I can’t imagine how people go through surgery and recovery without someone helping them.

And this guy was my constant companion. He was content to just lie by my side for hours at a time and that was so comforting. It’s amazing how pets know that you’re not up to par and can’t play with them.
He’s now back to his old ornery self. 😉

Seems like forever since I last posted and almost forgot how to do it. Will have to look through the archives so I can figure out what to post next. Hope you are all doing well!


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Sunset on the Rocks

Hi everyone,

I recently had surgery that I’d planned for a long time and am just uncomfortable sitting at a desk. Now that the holidays are upon us, I’ll be taking time off until next year.

Hope you’re all doing well…here’s a recent shot of sunset at the beach.

Happy Holidays!


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Rise Mohave Lantern Festival

As stated previously, I went to a lantern festival in the Mohave Desert outside Las Vegas. Rise Mohave happens every year and my son and his girlfriend had raved about it. Now I see why…it was truly magical.

After about a half-hour bus ride from Las Vegas, we got to the desert just before sunset. The weather was perfect! It had rained the day before, so I was a little worried the event would be cancelled. The sky was crystal clear, thankfully.

Here’s the sign that everyone posed in front of:

And from behind:

The whole thing was beautifully organized. We had assigned spots and were given tatami mats to sit on. I got tired of sitting on the hard ground, so luckily they had a tent where you could sit on benches for a break.

This was also where you could write on your two lanterns. People wrote all kinds of stuff–things that they were grateful for, people they wanted to pray for and negative stuff they wanted to go up in flames. It was pretty emotional, I have to say.

Oh, there was live music too, which was a nice touch.

When it was completely dark, we were told to light our lanterns, which was the hard part. I think my son lighted most of the lanterns near us because it was a struggle! There’s a little wax square at the base of the lantern and you have to hold a flame to it for several seconds. All this while the wind is blowing and you have to worry about the lantern collapsing and burning! Somehow we managed to not burn any of ours. 🙂

It helps to stand the lantern on the ground once it’s lit, and then wait a few minutes until it’s ready to float.

And then they’re off! It was soooo beautiful, made me teary-eyed. Everyone was so happy and awed by the sight of the lanterns in the night sky. I was so happy to be with my son and his girlfriend too. They made the entire trip extra-special for me.

Here’s a short video I shot on my iPhone….

If you’re planning a trip to Vegas in the month of October, check out Rise Mohave.

Great weekend, everyone!


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