31 Mar

When Robin first posted about the Snowpocalypse on her Facebook page, someone responded “But I thought you lived in California?!”  One of the riches of living in California is that wide diversity of terrain and climate.  In the course of a day you can be on the beach, in snowy mountains and the desert.  The highest peak in the contiguous United States and lowest point are a little over 300 miles apart.

So, while Robin and I are still in the same state, we get a drastically different experience.  I live where most people think of when they think of California – sandy beaches, sunny days, crazy highways and big sunglasses.  Actually, it’s been pretty chilly for the past few weeks and I took that opportunity to drive into the not-yet-scorching-hot desert of Anza-Borrego to see if I could spot some wildflowers.

(from front to back: Teddybear Cholla and Brittlebush)

Unfortunately for me my camera has decided it would rather sleep than work (we have a similar outlook on life) so I’m relegated to sharing camera phone pics.

According the the rangers, this wasn’t an excellent year for flowers, but it wasn’t a bad one either. Most of the flowers were bright yellow, like you see here. Brittlebush was probably the most common, its brilliant yellow flowers created carpets of gold over the hillside. On my drive over the mountain, they looked spectacular next to the black and white dairy cows grazing on the hill.

(from left to right: Chuparosa, Wild Lavender, and Brittlebush)

(ever-present Chaparral)


My favorite of the desert shows was the ocotillo. It’s not actually a cactus, but a shrub. You can tell because it’s branches are brown rather than moisture-filled like actual cacti. Right now they have brilliant red flowers on their tips that look almost like bird beaks.


I had to blow this one up a bit so you could see him, but there were quite a few jackrabbits leaping around. Those guys are fast! And huge! I’m pretty sure this one could’ve easily taken my 20-pound cat on and won. I’m amazed when I look back at this photo how good their camouflage is. I had to comb a few photos before I could find him.

Anza hill

I hiked to the top of a hill and a family was up there taking a break.

“Look down there at those people,” the dad told his daughters. “Can you see their faces? Do you know if they’re smiling? Or crying?” Of course the girls said they couldn’t.

“Well, if you were a hawk you could see them blink. You could see the eyes on a pocket mouse.” The girls didn’t reply. Possibly because they were used to their father’s musings, but it made me smile.

Hopefully, when they’re older it will make them smile, too.

~ april


One Response to “No-pocalypse.”

  1. Susan Stankis April 1, 2011 at 7:22 am #

    Beautiful April. You really make me appreciate CA. Great blog…

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