Saturday, March 25, 2017

Out and About: Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park (shortly upon entering park). This is a very  typical view. 

Looks like a nostril to me!

Joshua Tree in bloom

Notice the fractal qualities of similarity (self-same) from small to large scale.

Flowers at Big Morongo Canyon Preserve

Some type of poppy?

Wildflowers and view across canyon (Big Morongo Canyon Preserve)

A fine example of a Joshua Tree

Not sure but this view may be south and west looking towards Palm Springs
This last week my husband and I took a vacation. I have the hiking bug pretty bad these days so a hiking centered trip made a lot of sense, for me. I am fortunate that my husband is flexible! We drove down to Joshua Tree National Park, where there are a lot of walking trails, and stayed overnight in a VRBO right in the town of Joshua Tree. We were about 10 minutes from the northern entrance of the park, very convenient. 

The photos above are pretty indicative of the general landscape. The mountains are quite close by and there are many, many rounded rock formations. Numerous types of plants grow right out of the rock cracks and of course, there are Joshua Trees scattered everywhere. Except for the mountains and rock formations, everything is pretty low to the ground. There is a sense of being in a "bowl" or in a smallish canyon. This desert is different from what someone might imagine a desert area to be. At least that was my impression. 

Wildflowers are a big draw in the Spring and this year, due to the rainfall, the crop of blooms is supposed to be spectacular. Things were certainly blooming, though not in the profusion that I expected. There was a small scattering of yellow and purple flowers alongside some cactus blooms that were a nice poppy red color. It's always wonderful to see the color and shapes of things, no matter the amount. The grayish greens of some bushes sit right alongside the brighter yellow green leaves of the Joshua trees.  Some bushes have a darker green yellow color to them that is more muted. we even saw some "desert" mistletoe that had reddish berries that were almost translucent looking. 

I included some flower pics too from our day spent at Big Morongo Canyon Preserve. What a gem of a park! It's billed as being a place for bird watchers but we were happy just hiking around. There were actually more blooms at this park than at the other. Wonderful views too since at several points we were quite high above the canyon.

The last two pics are from Joshua Tree park. I included the tree pic because it is so typical of what can be seen. This one was even better than most! Lastly, too, you can get high up. This elevation is about 5000 ft. I think? It was very windy on two of the days that we were there but oddly enough this lookout point was not too bad. Go figure!

During our trip, I kept waiting for something "artistic" to grab my attention. Some feeling I suppose that would transfer to my art making. While I didn't get a particular feeling, I certainly felt a connection to the colors. Not too dissimilar from where I live though, the dirt (which is actually sand) is less red than our dirt here. Many of the greens are similar and the "graying" of the colors is also familiar to me.  What I couldn't discern though was an actual sense of space. I expected more openness but what I found was a more closed in "canyon" setting. And I expected a sense of calm but I actually found the place to be somewhat chaotic due to the wind. There isn't a great sense of scale either as most everything is a similar height. It was still a good experience for me, personally and artistically. Not bad but just unexpected. 

OK, hope everyone had a good week. I hope to get back in to the swing of things, studio-wise, next week. I have fallen out of the habit of having a regular schedule which doesn't work for me really well. So, I am trying to correct that!

Take care and thank you for reading and commenting.


  1. Thank you for sharing these marvelous photos of your vacation. It is fascinating for me to see where you were, both in the large sense and the attention to details.

    1. Thanks Carol! I tried to pay attention to what I was seeing and feeling. Not always an easy task! We will see what comes of things, artistically speaking:)

      Hope you are doing well and working away:)
      Thanks for the visit.

  2. Dear Libby wonderful photos. The desert has its own type of beauty. Laughed at your second picture. It does look like a nostril. Good observation friend. So glad you shared a part of your vacation and hike. Have a super week. Hope you find your routine again. Hugs!

    1. Debbie,

      The desert really is quite a place. And there are different types of desert in CA which is interesting to me. This area is different from what I expected but still beautiful.

      The rocks really did look like melting people with all sorts of features:)

      Hope you are doing well. It's Wednesday...:)
      Thanks you for your visit,


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