Sunday, April 05, 2009

Joshua Tree Wrap-up

Our trip last weekend was fantastic, even if it tuckered me out completely. Last year, the southern end of the park looked purple from the distance due to the heavy growths of chia and sand verbena. This year, the display was much more muted. We missed the peak Spring wildflowers by a week. But we caught the beginning of the Joshua tree and cactus blooms. We didn't see those last year.

One day, we hiked to 49 palms oasis, a 3 mile round trip hike that is uphill both ways. The rest of the time, we relaxed at the inn while the kids ran ferral. We brought a stack of books and Bad Dad managed to read several of them while sitting on the deck of our cabin. I only read 1.5 books.

The mother of the other child took this photo of the kids, following coyote tracks before breakfast.
The coyote left scat on the steps of our cabin's deck. We saw many rabbits. The kids saw a family of raccoons. The other mom saw a white owl fly out of the trees at dusk and grab a rabbit for dinner. The kids were scared by this tree, with so many snacking bees, it sounded like a small plane engine. (Click to see a larger version where you can see the bees.)
The self-sufficiency of the 29 Palms Inn never fails to impress. See the debris building material?
The prickly spines forms a fence around the vegetable garden.
The fronds becomes the wind and privacy screen around our cabin.
The asparagus bed is just waking up from the winter.
The zucchinis still need a cold frame for the Spring desert nights.
The innkeeper, Jane, said that artichokes don't really make sense in her climate. But they are such pretty plants, she can't help but plant them. The first morning, we could only find one tiny artichoke head, and it was in deep hiding.
The next morning, they were popping up everywhere.
Someone did book the boat cabin after all.
Bad Dad says he wishes we went for three nights instead of two. I don't think we will have a problem convincing the girls.
More about the trip in Home and Joshua Tree Wildflowers.

1 comment:

  1. Oh the pictures look lovely.

    My dad planted artichokes in the our front yard several years because he thought they were quite pretty. Even though we lived in Texas we were in the north central part of the state and were only in zone 7. The artichokes rarely survived the winter to produce flowers, but they did one year and he was thrilled and satisfied.

    My mom was less happy about having them in her front yard.