Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Earth laughs in flowers

desert chicory (Rafinesquia neomexicana)

Fremont's phacelia (Phacelia fremontii)

desert dandelion (Malacothrix glabrata)

Mojave aster (Xylorhiza tortifolia var. tortifolia)

Earth laughs in flowers.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, April 23, 2010


To the illumined man or woman,
a clod of dirt, a stone, and gold are the same.
~ Bhagavad Gita

Monday, April 19, 2010

Cactus Monday

The desert is definitely blooming! We were out over the weekend and were astounded at how green and yellow the East Mojave is right now. It is simply carpeted with flowers. It was a working weekend, so I didn't have time to take many photos, but we could not drive by this beauty without stopping.  This is Mojave mound cactus (Echinocereus triglochidiatus), also known as claret cup for obvious reasons.

Happy Cactus Monday! 
See more treasures at Teri's Painted Daisies.

The earth is like a beautiful bride who needs no manmade jewels to heighten her loveliness.
~ Kahlil Gibran

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


One of the most beautiful flowers of the desert is dune evening primrose (Oenothera deltoides).  It's also called birdcage evening primrose or devil's lantern.  When I saw the flowers for the first time, those other names didn't make sense to me.  I read that when the plant dies, the stems curl upwards into what looks like a birdcage.  Even though I found a few photos online, I still couldn't believe this beautiful, delicate flower could end up looking like that.  Well, this year I found irrefutable proof, up close and personal.  Amazing!  Mother Nature sure has a sense of humor...

If nothing ever changed, there'd be no butterflies.
~ Unknown

Friday, April 9, 2010


I guess you know spring is in the air when you see multiple photography assignments and contests focused on the color green. I finally decided maybe I should get in on some of the fun, so here is my submission for Gardening Gone Wild's Picture This Contest for April. Be sure to check out the other green submissions too!

pincushion flower seedhead (Scabiosa columbaria)

If your knees aren't green by the end of the day,
you ought to seriously re-examine your life.
~ Bill Watterson

Monday, April 5, 2010

Cactus Monday

One of our tiny cacti that I thought was dead suddenly sprouted buds. And then there was this treat on Saturday.  Certainly not dead!

The glow of one warm thought is to me worth more than money.
~ Thomas Jefferson

Happy Cactus Monday, everyone!

For more cactus beauty, visit Teri's Painted Daisies.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Happy Easter

Happy weekend and Happy Easter!

Well pleaseth me the sweet time of Easter
That maketh the leaf and the flower come out.

~ Bertran de Born

Friday, April 2, 2010

Joshua Trees in Bloom

More from our camping trip:  Joshua trees (Yucca brevifolia) in various stages of bloom. They are quite beautiful up close; so dense and fleshy compared to the dry, spiky nature of the tree itself.

the well-protected bud

(photo by Chris Ervin)

the full bloom

"One time I saw a tiny Joshua tree sapling growing not too far from the old tree. I wanted to dig it up and replant it near our house. I told Mom that I would protect it from the wind and water it every day so that it could grow nice and tall and straight. Mom frowned at me. 'You'd be destroying what makes it special,' she said. 'It's the Joshua tree's struggle that gives it its beauty.'"

~ Jeannette Walls (The Glass Castle)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

A Different Kind of Easter Lily

One of our "missions" on our camping trip in the East Mojave during the weekend of March 20-21 was to see if we could find desert lilies (Hesperocallis undulata) in bloom. Someone had reported them blooming in Anza-Borrego, so we hoped the conditions might be right in the East Mojave as well. We found many with buds, but no blooms—until we happened upon a south-facing sandy slope. There we found a few with full blossoms open and many more coming soon. It really is a treat to run across such a lush "garden" in an otherwise arid land.

Lined up, waiting to bloom...

A closeup of the bud (photo by my husband)...

When you have only two pennies left in the world,
buy a loaf of bread with one,
and a lily with the other.

~ Chinese Proverb