Joshua Tree National Park

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Last week I went to Yucca Valley to visit my daughter who lives and makes pottery there. Check out her website, zzieeceramics, and Etsy site to see or purchase her pieces. On June 8th and 9th she will be selling her work at the West Coast Craft Fair, so unless you can visit her in SF, you may have to wait a few weeks to get an online response.

Cottage Cheese Vase from zzieeceramics

She took a break from throwing, glazing and firing to join me on a botanical foray in Joshua Tree National Park. There were a surprising number of wildflowers still blooming. The spiny senna (Senna armata) was finishing up after a spectacular display. But even without the exuberance of peak wildflower displays, the desert was glorious. Rain clouds over the distant mountains were both ominous and awe-inspiring.

Some of the plants and flowers that we saw are uploaded on iNaturalist. These include a couple of grasses, big galleta and desert needle grass. Also, we saw some nice blooms and pods on paperbag bush (yes, isn’t that a great name!). Other little pretties include San Felipe dogwood, prince’s plume, small wire lettuce, rabbitbush, white bursage, and even a spectacular desert mariposa lily.

As an aside, if any of you can distinguish – from my not-so-great photo of rabbitbush – whether the plant is yellow rabbitbush (Chrysothamnus viscidiflorus) or rubber rabbitbush (Ericameria nauseosa), please comment below. These DYCs (“damn-yellow-composites” for the non-botanists) are tricky!

Hope you enjoy the pictures, or better yet, go to the desert and experience the glory for yourself.