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Easter in Joshua Tree - Part 1 - The art of Thornwolf
thornwolf
thornwolf
Easter in Joshua Tree - Part 1
skorzy and I have been planning a trip out to Joshua Tree to see the spring blooms all year, after missing them last year due to an early summer. The blooms weren't AS impressive as they could have been, but it was still nice to get out of the house.

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First we went to the Desert Lily Sanctuary. We went there last year with vantid and the place was awash with butterflies and horn worms, but sadly the butterfly explosion hasn't happened yet. Still, we saw lots of desert lilies! Interestingly enough, INSIDE the sanctuary itself we didn't see a single one (but used the opportunity as a good excuse to test out the new car's AWD, so, all was not lost) but just outside the sanctuary on the sides of the road, lilies everywhere.
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We stopped at McGoo's convenience store for a snack and a drink. This painting I guess is supposed to be Mr. Magoo but for being a blind old man he's sure doing a good job at pointing in the right direction!
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Talked to a local who mentioned that there were 200+ desert lilies on his property and that he sees a lot of "lily folk" coming out this time of year. Sadly, he also told us that they had recently built a motocross racetrack near his house, that he had come out to live there 20 years ago for the peace and quiet and now all he hears is BZZZT BZZZZZZZZZT VROOM BZZZZT!

The roadside was littered with purple and yellow flowers, so even though it wasn't a color explosion, it was still nice to see some life in the desert!
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Bug identification plz! Saw this little guy escaping the wind and hanging out in this flower. He didn't seem to care that I was there.
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Not certain what this flower is, but they are HUGE. Bigger than a softball for comparison. *EDIT* Okay. It's Jimson Weed. LOL! I've heard of it but never knew what it looked like. Now I know, thanks twilightsocks!
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Then we saw one of these yellow flowers poking out, and couldn't figure out how it was growing in there. "That's impossible!" Skorzy said. "Maybe it's parasitic and somehow grew into the plant" I said. "Or..maybe someone just put it in there!" Skorzy: *takes yellow flower out of big flower, no roots*.... "Oh. Okay then." DUMB!
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Another bug identification please! I saw one of these last year. They're pretty fast, and kind of click when they walk on the sand.
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Next up was the ocotillo cactus patch. These things are huge! Take a look for yourself. The car is only about 5 feet behind this cactus, so no real forced perspective here.
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Also...hurrrrrr..
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More photos to come!
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Comments
twilightsocks From: twilightsocks Date: April 5th, 2010 06:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wow, ocotillo! It's sad how happy I am to see some. :D

Those gigantic white flowers are jimson weed (well, they have a lot of other names, too). They're hallucinogenic, lol. We had a huge one growing in our yard once; we let it grow there because it was pretty. Once I brushed against it and a broken-off branch of it scratched my ankle. It took weeks to heal properly.
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: April 5th, 2010 06:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
lol that's so funny! I've heard of it tons but never actually knew what I was looking at/didn't associate this with that. Thanks for the identification!

And yeah, I saw that ep of CSI where the kids made a "tea" from jimson weed and bugged out on each other. XD
desertcoyote From: desertcoyote Date: April 5th, 2010 07:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah- you've gotta be careful with it... every year or so some teens go out for a party near here, eat jimsonweed, and one of them wanders off into the desert and dies. :P
Jimsonweed is pretty, though, and if you leave it alone it leaves you alone. :)

The desert is having a late spring this year...normally the birds would have nested and fledged already and the flowers would be in full bloom, but everything is delayed this year for some reason. Flowers are just now starting to get going...

The purple flowers are sand verbana. The first unidentified bug looks like a blister beetle? The second one is one I call a "grapefruit bug" but I have no idea what it actually is... I'd be interested to know what it is myself.
datalore From: datalore Date: April 5th, 2010 08:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
Mmm, fried liver body wash... one way to ensure my partner never touches me again. :)
corvus_animus From: corvus_animus Date: April 5th, 2010 10:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
GREAT SHOTS!!! :D

I asked Skorzy this too:

I'm also curious about the framing on your photos. Do you add each one individually? Or do you use a batch processing macro? What program do you use?

I like having "framed" photos to post online, but doing each one individually in photoshop gets tedious!
was1 From: was1 Date: April 5th, 2010 11:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
Nice photos. It looks like it was a gorgeous weekend.
ruggels From: ruggels Date: April 6th, 2010 02:20 am (UTC) (Link)
Wow! excellent photos!@ good camera. I bet you are glad to get out and look before they turned the furnace on. I use a weird route to get to Vegas that goes near that area. Glad you two had fun.

Scott
vizon From: vizon Date: April 6th, 2010 04:10 am (UTC) (Link)
Ohhhh that first "against the sky" shot of the ocotillo cactus is gorgeous - and so especially is that second photo of the purple flowers. The sun really brings out the colors!
marurun From: marurun Date: April 6th, 2010 05:47 am (UTC) (Link)
Fried liver wash doesn't sound very appetizing. :X
furtech From: furtech Date: April 6th, 2010 07:53 am (UTC) (Link)
Fantastic pics! Much love the for the HUGE ocotillo!
corvidophile From: corvidophile Date: April 7th, 2010 03:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
i'm so jealous. it looks so beautiful AND warm!
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