Borrego Springs, California – Wildflowers

The second week of March is supposed to be the best weekend to go to the desert and look at the wildflowers. We hadn’t been to the desert during the spring wildflowers for almost seven years!

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Borrego Springs wildflowers – March 2009

With this year being an El Nino year, we were hoping that the wildflowers would be blooming like crazy. We still found a lot of wildflowers but they weren’t as obvious as the last time we were there. We had to look for them this time! When we stopped by the visitor center to pick up a map of the area, the ladies there told us that in spite of El Nino they had only gotten 3 inches of rain this year. The average rainfall by this time is 7 inches.

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Borrego Springs – March 2016 – My boys loved the way the hills looked. They said it looked like a painting.

We decided to check out a few of the trails in the area. Because of the high winds though, we were only able to hike one small trail called Little Surprise Canyon. There will be a lot of pictures from now on in this post.

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Heading out on the trail. Gwen, the youngest, is riding in the hiking backpack Josh is wearing. Ian, Rhys, and now Gwen have ridden in that backpack.

This was a good trail for kids. It wasn’t too long. The trail “next door” to this one is called Hellhole Canyon and that would have been a 6 mile hike. If the wind hadn’t been so bad, we probably would have hiked at least part of it.

All of our kids are rock hounds so they were also picking up rocks to take home.

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The wildflowers were so tiny that it was very easy to miss them. I kind of liked them this way though. The purple flower is purple sage, and the tiny yellow flowers beside it are a kind of poppy.
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This is ocotillo. They are everywhere here! And grow very tall.
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Desert lavender – my focus was a little off on these. I’m still figuring out how to use my camera.

 

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Yellow poppies. These were so nice to see everywhere. The yellow is cheerful.
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Matthias and I found this flower. It was the only one of its kind we saw during our hike. It’s called a ghost flower because of the yellowish-white almost translucent petals. It was so small that we could have easily stepped on it!
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Rock daisy – I didn’t see too many of these either
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I always love to see cactus flowering. This is a barrel cactus.
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Probably my favorite flower I saw during our hike. Beavertail cactus. The hot pink flowers are easy to see from very far away!
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It was so fun to go out on a hike with my family. I think it has been a while! Our last hike together was probably in the Petrified Forest in Arizona. The boys had a great time exploring rocks, dirt, and the little canyons here and there.
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We probably went through every color of the rainbow during our hike. This is indigo bush.
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Josh said this might be a packrat nest. I’m glad we didn’t see any rats!
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Desert chicory – this one caught my eye because it was all by itself by a rock.
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This yellow wave of flowers is called brittle bush I think. It is a type of sunflower.
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At first I thought these were ocotillo flowers, but then I realized that they weren’t the right shape. These are chuparosa.
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I love blue flowers. These are wild heliotrope. Very small flowers. I’m glad I was able to get a picture of them.
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This is teddy bear cholla cactus. It looks cute but you don’t want to hug it!
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We drove through the mountains to get to the desert. There was an overlook of Borrego Springs you could stop at. It was interesting to be able to look down on the town like this.
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In the far distance in this picture, you can see a thin line of water that is the Salton Sea. It is about 30 miles away from Borrego Springs. On a whim, we decided to drive there after we were finished with our adventure in Borrego Springs. I’ll write about the Salton Sea in another post. Now that was an adventure!

Josh took some pictures too. So I’m going to talk about a few of those.

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You can see in this picture where water obviously runs down the mountain during a rainstorm. I was hoping it might rain while we were in Borrego Springs, but it ended up raining later, while we were driving home!
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A panoramic photo Josh took of our hike at Little Surprise Canyon.

Thanks for coming along with us on our hike in the desert! My next post about Borrego Springs will be on some metal sculptures we stumbled across in town. We were going to look for more wildflowers but ended up spending the rest of our time at the sculptures

-Lynn

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