Wildflowers in the Desert: Borrego Springs, California – March 8, 2019

We have posted about the wildflowers in the desert before, but since this is possibly our last trip to see them for a while, we wanted to write about them again. It’s interesting to see the differences from year to year.

You can read about our previous trips in Borrego Springs, California: Wildflowers 2017 and Borrego Springs, California – Wildflowers.

Most of our trips to the desert include side trips. This year’s side trips were to Packard’s Coffee Shop in Ramona, CA, Dudley’s Famous Bakery in Santa Ysabel, CA, and Culp Valley Cultural Preserve right outside Borrego Springs.

We love Packard’s but we live so far away that we only make it there about once a year. The big blue box in the front is the reason we first visited because Josh and I are Doctor Who fans. We have never tried their crepes or baked goods, but we always buy some of their coffee. They are really great about updating their Facebook page with the baked goods they are offering for the day or week.

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Packard’s TARDIS is a Little Free Library. I think this is such a great idea!
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The front porch at Packard’s.

 

Dudley’s Famous Bakery was our next stop where we picked up five loaves of bread. With the size of our family though, five loaves of bread doesn’t last very long!

 

That is a LOT of bread. We bought four loaves and got one free. We were hoping the strudels were included in that but sadly, they were not. I had to tell my oldest son to go put the raspberry strudel back. I regretted that later, because I don’t think strudel is something I will ever attempt to make.

Our next stop was Culp Valley Cultural Preserve. We didn’t actually hike anywhere here but it was an interesting place to stop. It was neat to watch the shadows of the clouds move across the landscape. It was very windy here!

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We like to stop at the Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association Desert Nature Center near Christmas Circle to pick up a wildflower map before we head out to the fields.  The staff there are very knowledgeable and very helpful. They also have a nice gift shop. My rock hound son has picked up a few books about rocks, gems, and minerals there. For this trip, we purchased a wildflower guide and a guide to the sky art metal sculptures around town. The wildflower maps are always free and are invaluable to figuring out where is best to go.

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Usually, we head out to Henderson Canyon Road to find wildflowers but this year our main stop was Coyote Canyon. I think we were early enough in the day that it wasn’t too difficult to park close to the dirt road that would take us to the fields. For this trip, we walked east from Di Giorgio Road. The most prevalent wildflowers were desert sunflowers, sand verbena, and dune evening primrose. The colors were amazing.

We also stopped at a few fields east of Borrego Springs. Josh took pictures out there since I stayed in the van with our baby. I also was a bit of a wimp and didn’t feel like dealing with the wind.

 

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I think this might be my favorite picture that I took of the wildflowers.
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Desert Lilies
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Desert Chicory over Popcorn flowers
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Popcorn flowers have fuzzy stems. We saw a few of these plants here and there that had not bloomed yet.
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Chuparosa. This was taken by Josh with his iPhone. 
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Brown-eyed evening Primrose
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Dune Evening Primrose
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I think this is probably Dune evening primrose also. It’s just light pink instead of white.
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Sand verbena. There is so much of this blooming that you can see them from very far away.
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I think this is another brown-eyed evening primrose.

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Another type of blue heliotrope or phacelia. I love blue and purple flowers!
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A type of blue heliotrope or phacelia. I thought it might be canterbury bells at first but the way the flowers are clustered doesn’t look right.

While walking around by Coyote Canyon, we found a dry wash. Three of my boys were fascinated by the way the mud had dried in layers and broken with some of the edges curling up.  One of them even told me, “Mommy, this is much more fun that the flowers!” Doesn’t that just sound like a boy? I’m glad that they found something out on our walk that was interesting to them. They even wanted to take some of the layers home with us. Sorry, boys, you can’t bring any dirt home with you.

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We hiked out to this weather station and then headed back to the van. There were also some cryptic signs in this area with the words “Viking Block” and then a number. Josh looked them up and found out that they were in relation to a program for environmental protection.

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Of course, we had to visit our old friends, the scorpion and the grasshopper. We also drove by the serpent. The kids love seeing the metal sculptures. Hopefully, it will not be the last time we get to visit Borrego Springs.

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Wild about Honey

At the end of August, we took a family day trip to Ramona, a town about 45 minutes from us. We love this area of San Diego County. We also love to shop small businesses, so when Josh saw Trumper’s Honey and Fruit Shack in Santa Ysabel, we had to stop. He has seen it before while working in the area but had never had a chance to stop by, probably because it is only open on weekends.

The nicest lady works in the shop and did not mind at all letting all my kids sample the honey. And it was delicious honey!

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I have been looking for raw alfalfa honey for a long time, and of course, it’s not really something you can find in the store. I hadn’t been to a farmers’ market in a while either, so when I saw raw alfalfa honey here, I HAD to get it. 32 ounces of honey for $14.99. It was a $15 well-spent because I am now using it in or on everything I can. My kids loved the raw cherry and they especially like it on pancakes!

We also got 44 ounces of raw bee keeper honey (a mix of either buckwheat and alfalfa or buckwheat and sage honey, I can’t remember) for $16.99. I think we are set with honey for a while, and I’m sure by then, we will be ready for another trip to Trumper’s Honey and Fruit Shack!

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These are some of the bee hives that were on the property by the parking lot. These are sealed so that bees don’t try to get in and form a hive. The bees live at the back of the property away from visitors.

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Some pictures of the honey and fruit shack from the parking lot. This was probably my favorite stop on our trip. I would love to come back!

Trumper’s Honey and Fruit Shack is located off of Highway 78 in Santa Ysabel.

27736 Highway 78

Santa Ysabel, CA 92070

-Lynn

A Little Trip Downtown

Today was one of those perfect Southern California days. Please don’t hate us for our weather! It was 70 degrees down by the water today, a beautiful day to be out and walking around in short sleeves.

There are some places in San Diego that we have been going to for years and years and we just don’t want them to change. To us, they are iconic San Diego.

Seaport Village is one of those places.

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