Plants, Stone, California Landscapes


Occupy Joshua Tree

Occupy Joshua Tree

Anita and I spent most of last week at Joshua Tree. It’s one of my favorite places and very photogenic. These are some of the photos I took.

Years ago when I first saw Joshua trees, I thought they were just about the goofiest things growing on the planet. After working with plants for a number of years and seeing a lot more succulents, I don’t find them nearly as strange. Still somewhat Dr. Seuss-y, but not nearly as much.

The showiest color in the park was in the red seedheads of a buckwheat. The foliage was quite red too. Really striking against the dried grass or stone.

Some of the spots in the park look like the work of a talented gardener with a loose, naturalistic style. This path, (click to see it larger), looked like it had been deliberately edged with red and yellow foliage.

The Sulfur Buckwheats were still in bloom. They were doing the same thing — blooming from the cracks in the boulders — when I was in the Buttermilks around this same time last year.

There is one species of manzanita in the park, A. glauca. I saw a few nice healthy ones, but the most beautiful was a deceased one. I don’t think I’ve ever had that opinion about a plant before.

And the desert can make a dead car look beautiful too. A great, great place.

12 Responses to “Occupy Joshua Tree”

  1. November 10th, 2011 at 7:20 am

    Town Mouse says:

    Amazing! Yes, I agree, those things look a little unreal. I remember seeing them for the first time driving through late in the evening, it was quite spooky.

  2. November 10th, 2011 at 9:02 am

    Loree / danger garden says:

    Lovely photos! (and great post title)

  3. November 10th, 2011 at 11:42 am

    Scott Weber says:

    LOVE that red buckwheat!

  4. November 11th, 2011 at 8:24 am

    James Golden says:

    Extraordinarily beautiful. I have to get out west.

  5. November 11th, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    Country Mouse says:

    Wonderful pics – love seeing the plants growing from cracks in the rock! I just put in a lot of varied succulents around the foundation of our home – we’ll see how they do!

  6. November 14th, 2011 at 7:05 am

    ryan says:

    Thanks, everyone. It’s a beautiful place to take photos.

  7. November 15th, 2011 at 11:28 pm

    lostlandscape (James) says:

    Gotta love the buckwheats this time of year, both the sulfur and dried ones. Nice that you focused on the 99% of the plants and didn’t pretend that all J-Tree had were j-trees…

  8. November 16th, 2011 at 12:23 am

    ryan says:

    That’s a great point, though I did seem to give the joshua trees the biggest share of the post. I hadn’t noticed but the photo of the young one with all the red buckwheat around it could be used as some kind of graphic representation of how much bigger the share of the wealth is for the 1% compared to the 99%, the spikes on the j-tree representing how the 1% feels about sharing their wealth.

  9. November 17th, 2011 at 7:37 pm

    Arleen Webster says:

    Amazing photos – was this at Jumbo Rocks? It’s my fav campground at JTNP.

  10. November 17th, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    ryan says:

    The tent photo is at Jumbo Rocks, which Iis my new favorite campground too. Most of the other photos are on the loop trail to Barker Dam.

  11. January 7th, 2012 at 11:19 am

    chuck b. says:

    I’ve never seen a manzanita go black like that. Did it die in a fire?

  12. January 7th, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    ryan says:

    I don’t think a fire. The dieback on all of the manzanitas was a really nice color, maybe the desert air preserved it well.

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