Retrorse desert 4 o'clock? (above)
Whispering Bells (above)
Common fiddleneck (above)
It was a fine Sunday in the desert and the wildflowers were putting on a show. I chose the Elephant Trees area because I heard this was where the greatest variety of wildflower specimens were located. There were some flowers that I had seen and photographed on previous hikes here in LA, and there were new and exciting ones that I assume are found only in the desert. I wish I could spend more time here, but I was blessed to have a few hours to walk about and see what I could find.
At first, it was a sensory overload. Every few steps I would find something I hadn't seen before and only wonder what their names were. I felt like a kid in a candy store, just aimlessly wondering around trying to take it all in. Eventually, I made my way to the Elephant Trees trail head which gave me a little more focus to my wanderings. After an hour or so, my brain seemed to calm down a bit, and I was able to focus on each individual species I came across. By the third or fourth hour, I was able to look only for plants or flowers that I had not yet seen. One thing I've got to learn to do, is pick a spot and just sit for a while and see what's around me. Every time I take a lunch break, I end up seeing different plants or flowers hiding amongst the rocks that I simply miss while walking around.
Later in the afternoon, it was clear that more people had arrived to the area. It actually wasn't nearly as crowded as I expected. It was very easy to wander off to a section of the desert where no one was around. I assumed that next weekend will probably be the peak bloom, thus more people, but I expected to see more yesterday as well. Nevertheless, I could not help but feel a tinge of guilt knowing that I was contributing to the trampling of hundreds or thousands of tiny wildflowers inadvertently. It simply was impossible to take a step without crushing some tiny poppy, eucrypta, or lotus.
It was also neat to hear the constant buzz of bees and insects. They were everywhere, most likely punch drunk on pollen and nectar.