Monday, March 27, 2017


Last week, mid-March, I came through Anza-Borrego State Park on my way home from a photo weekend at the Salton Sea. Though the traffic leaving Borrego Springs was a bad experience, the flower show that the desert was putting on was well worth it. 

Desert Lily

Desert Garden 1
Desert Lily 2

Near San Felipe Wash

Desert Five Spot
Barrel Cactus Bloom
Sand Verbena

Sand Verbena

Desert Bouquet of Sand Verbena and Dune Evening Primrose

Desert Flower Garden

Henderson Canyon Bloom

Drying Desert Floor

Dune Evening Primrose
Green Hills and Borrego Traffic

 So I decided I had to go back for another look and explore. I contacted my hiking buddies, Chris and Myrna, and they were all for the adventure. It was a long day with departing from my house at 0600, and getting home about 1730. We all thoroughly enjoyed the day.

We were at the Borrego Palm Canyon Trail Head about 0830, and there were only a couple of parking spaces left. We opted to go up the Alternate Route, which is on the South side of the Canyon even though we were told it was a harder route. I did not want to hike on the main route due to the numbers of people using that trail.

My choice was excellent as very shortly after starting up the trail a herd of about 12 big-horned sheep rams came down off the ridge. Eventually they came within 10 yards of the trail!! It was quite a show, and I got some good photos....

On The Move
Face Off
I'm Coming
Ram Group
Young One

This Looks Like a Tasty Morsel

Breakfast Nibble


Checking Out the Buffet

Ram Portrait

Enjoying a Bite

What Is Over There?

Happy Young Ram

There were members of a Riverside camera club there as well. Chris noticed that they got wrapped up in the moment, and left camera bags open and strewn around the trail. If she had a mind to she probably could have walked off with some nice and expensive gear.

We spent close to a half hour watching and photographing them, before moving on up the trail toward the grove at the head of Borrego Palm Canyon. We thoroughly enjoyed the flower show this year. The desert was green, the ocotillo was lush, the side canyons were beautiful in their mixtures of textures and colors. 

Ocotillo and Brittlebush

Desert Landscape

Brittlebush Garden

Rock Garden
When we reached the junction with the main trail we opted to return to the trailhead. It had gotten quite warm and it was already past noon. We all needed a break from the heat.

Along the return we met up with one of the Interpretive Rangers who was starting up the trail to monitor the activities of the big-horned sheep and the actions  of hikers along that trail. Chris recognized her from her training there a couple of years ago, so we had a nice conversation regarding the sheep and the actions of the public along the trail. A concern for her as well as at MTRP is the inconsiderate use of drones these days.

Back near the car, we found a covered ramada and table which we used to enjoy our lunch. Afterwards we headed for Henderson Canyon Road to take in the large flower field of verbena, primrose, desert sunflower, .....
Verbena Expanse

Desert Sunflower Show
Desert Sunflower and Creosote Bush

and sphinx caterpillars that were beginning to gorge themselves on the flowers. 
Sphinx Caterpillar Nibbling

Looking for More

This Is How It Is Done

Intent on Getting More
Sphinx Caterpillar

This activity attracts the Swainson’s hawks as they fly through the area on their long migration  from Argentina to the interior of Alaska.

We headed home about 1500, and again chose the Banner Grade/Cuyamaca route. The traffic was moderate, though it had been quite busy in the town of Borrego Springs. We all agreed that it had been a very enjoyable time, and well worth the effort.

Hope you find some beautiful spring bloom in your area.


  1. What a score! The flowers at AB are superb and what a bonus to see so many sheep. I heard the crowds were ridiculous. Thanks for sharing your excellent photos as I'm not going to make it this year.

  2. I also hate traffic but it seems you managed to escape and take some great shots. I look at your blog often but sorry I am not so good about commenting!!! Have a great week Diane

  3. I was so glued to your photos of the Sphinx caterpillar with all of those close-up beautiful details. And I admired the yellow pollen in the nostrils of the big-horned sheep. We had them often on Sinks canyon Rd. along the Popo Agie River outside Lander, Wyo as well.