The only day we had available to visit Joshua Tree National Park was dull and threatened rain. That is great I thought, but we had no choice, so off we went, driving the 30 miles north or so from Palm Desert. It had been very hot in Palm Desert and now the weather had turned. So suck it up buttercup. Too bad as photos would have been so much more attractive with blue skies.
Joshua Trees are actually trees because they have bark. However they are of the Yucca family. Weird limbs growing out in all directions with puffs of spikes at the end of the branches.
Joshua Trees do not grow just anywhere. They need the heat of the summer and the cold and snow in the winter, so they are very specific to this area in which they grow. If you drive through the park it will be approx. 60 miles. If you enter it from the visitor’s centre you will be in the centre of the growing trees. The further you drive in, the terrain changes, and eventually you lose the trees and it becomes more rocky and desert. The trees had been in bloom since mid February and we were there the 8th April when 99% of the blooms were over, leaving seed pods and spikes on the tips. I did manage to spot one tree that still had blooms. When the trees were in full bloom it must have been magnificent.
I was really drawn to the flowers and bushes that were in bloom.
Towards the end of the park you come to the Cactus Garden where this cute sign is posted as a warning.
This was a very unusual place that had so many contrasts. Joshua Trees, desert flowers, most of which I had no idea what they were, huge piles of rocks that were like small mountains, mountainous terrain, cacti, desert, and flowers everywhere . Just beautiful !