i took a springtime camping trip with some friends to joshua tree national park last weekend. the combination of a well-spaced rainy season and our particular weekend choice made for a desert exploding with color. the flowers were quite prolific, as were the lady bugs, lizards, jackrabbits, and even ducks in the barker dam area. we must have timed it just right, because we got to see the joshua tree fruit, which i have never seen before. i’d have liked to dissect one, but there are menacing signs warning not to within park boundaries.
joshua tree is host to several microclimates which make it possible to see clusters of different plant concentrations, or to see ducks thriving alongside lizards. hard to believe that these succulents and cacti who otherwise camoflage themselves in the summer heat reveal hot pinks, flaming reds and yellows, and soft lavender and sage in early springtime.