Last week I flew to Southern California and went on a short road trip with my mom and one of her friends. We drove from Claremont, to the California Poppy Reserve, to Tehachapi.
This year has been an El Nino winter, with extra rain, so we hoped to catch some of the desert blooming. We did okay, but I think the trip is worth doing again in a few years (assuming there's rain) to see if we can do even better! Still, we saw lots of flowers, part of the country I'd never seen, and had a good time.
Joshua trees are WAY strange-looking. Not at all what I imagined. This one is starting to bloom - see that white on one of the topmost .. um.. branch-things? Here's a close up of another tree's bloom:
Note those spiny thorns at the end of each .. leaf-thing. I got a picture of The Traveling Dude, who did not seem to mind the spikes:
And yes: flowers!