Tuesday, March 16, 2010

desert solitaire

( beavertail cactus in bloom)

" i hold no preference among flowers, so long as they are wild, free and spontaneous"
~desert solitaire~
edward abbey

(ocotillo blossoms)

we found very few wildflowers, beautiful, but few. it seems the daily reports we'd read
were not all that accurate.

(desert sunflower & lupine)

we weren't alone in that thinking either,
there were droves of people that came for the
predicted event. everyone asking "where are the flowers?"
the epic wildflower bloom, ah well, mother nature surely
decides these things, not us, doesn't she?

(cholla (choy-ya) cactus)

so we set about enjoying all the many other treasures the desert has to offer...

in the desert the best way to see is to get quiet...

get away from the crowds...

get down on your knees for a closer look...

find hearts and think of all your friends ♥

and take some hikes...we went from this to...

this! we hiked six miles to an oasis, you would not guess by looking at these photos

that this place is called

hell hole canyon!
can you see the small waterfall we cooled off in?

(blooming agave)

this photo shows the way we hiked to the palm covered oasis, it was over 80 degrees out!

i seem to have picked up a few stragglers. when chuck pointed out a blooming barrel cactus i got so excited i hurried off the trail to see it.
i forgot to look where i was stepping.


we went on another hike to the breathtaking badlands...

in one day we did three hikes, and covered sixteen miles. i think i counted just as many blisters!

in anza - borrego desert it's okay to camp anywhere...we found a beautiful spot but it was so windy we couldn't put up our tent. instead we spread out our sleeping pads and bags in the truck bed and slept there! it was fun even if we didn't get much sleep. we listened to the wind and coyotes all night. and yes! there were stars, millions, i think we could see every single one.

we decided to go exploring more of this thousand square mile wilderness, we were looking for a place where we read you could see native american rock art, and an ancient village...
we drove and drove and and then hiked and hiked...

there it is!

incredible! i love this art form, pictographs, and especially love to imagine the native tribe that painted this. driving and hiking a little more we found the kumeyaay morteros...

here it is! we are at a native american village site. the kumeyaay (ku-may-eye) people used this site on a seasonal basis. they gathered pinon nuts, mesquite beans and desert agave. nuts and seeds were pounded into meal in "morteros", the large depressions in the granite boulders.

the informative sign said to sit quietly and imagine yourself working along side the kumeyaay women, pounding large rock pestles into the morteros, grinding seeds and talking over the news of the day. we did just that, grateful for the experience.

(desert lily)

on our third day in the desert i was feeling not quite as fresh as this flower . but roughing it is part of the fun. i do love to camp. while out on a drive we passed through the small town of borrego springs, chuck told me we needed gas. instead he drove up to one of the resorts and he told me we were getting a room for the night! he wanted to surprise me! for being a good sport he said. then we went out to a lovely dinner.
sometimes camping is overrated. :)


we may not have gotten to see an epic flower show, this may not be the year for anza-borrego after all. but we did have a wonderful time, we gazed at stars, splashed in a desert waterfall, talked long talks while taking long walks. we saw a coyote (and heard them every night) a roadrunner, quail, cactus wrens and hummingbirds. we saw jackrabbits, honeybee's and blister beetles. and on our way out of the park, in the high desert i saw a nest with a large bird.

i told chuck, i'd never seen a nest like this before. in a tree by the side of the road.
so he turned around to get a better look.it was an eagle!
we didn't want to stress the mama so we watched for just a moment and then left.
i loved this trip.

(buggy windscreen driveby photo of home)

and apparently so did owen. back at home where he and hannah spent the last few days together, he went to a surf contest, met lots of new friends (dogs and people), dug lots of holes, went to a barbeque and went for a beach run. i don't think he missed us very much. but we sure missed him.

tired sore happy lori ♥


  1. Such a lovely travelogue and to do it with your love, even more special. I remember when I was young, living in Apple Valley my favorite desert flowers were the sand verbena, the ocotillos and the smell of greasewood in the rain...thanks for bringing it back for me!

  2. Dear Lori,
    Desert landscape has always been my favorite ... thank you for the gift of your photos. Spectacular!!

  3. Simply magnificent Lori. I love the desert ... and the many surprises it holds. Your pics captured them beautifully. Nice to see you and Chuck out enjoying the surrounding nature ... maybe I am just a little envious ... just a tad!

  4. Just beautiful, each and every photo, each and every detail. You have a good eye for things we might not notice. This post showed how the California Desert really looks, with a few flowers here and there, and lots of surprising spots. Thanks, lori

  5. Where has my comment gone? How mean! I said I enjoyed every detail, no matter that the flowery hills were not fully developed yet, but oh th eeagles! And the cactus flowers! What beautiful pictures, all of them! Good to have you back, Lori.

  6. Wow, how beautiful!
    Thank you for taking us with you Lori.

  7. Oh, I sooooo understand now what you mean about Namibia reminders!

    Fabulous pics, gorgeous flowers, stunning landscapes

  8. Your photos are so stunning. I love the desert. I'm heading to AZ tomorrow actually for nine days. I will get to also enjoy this kind of scenery....yay!

  9. This was stunning! So beautifully told and photographed, Lori.

    The California desert is gorgeous! You captured amazing details and shared the wonderful moments of this quiet escape. As always when I come visit here, I could hear your soft voice narrating the precious images.

    Thank you.

    Much much love,
    Lola xx

  10. Lori, that sounds absolutely amazing. Magical even.
    Such a lovely break away from it all and out in nature. I love desert skies. I travelled across the Sahara about 20 years ago and it was spectacular. So many stars.
    Thank you so much for you lovely comment on my blog.
    Cheers, Cinta. xx

  11. It's amazing how beautiful the desert can be, thank you for sharing it with us!

  12. Such wild beauty and a magical atmosphere.....wow.
    Thanks for the lovely trip, Lori.xx♥

  13. Lori, I am delighted with so many beautiful pictures!!

    Have fun, thank you for these wonderful moments of yours here in my screen.

    Take care, warmly, Mina( from Camila´s blog)

  14. Wow just amazing Lori! The photos capture everything perfectly. Thanks for sharing :)

  15. OMG. where shall i start?

    you've shared so much i should be taking notes. instead i'll give myself the luxury of coming back multiple times, which i love to do all the time on your blog.

    lori! 3 hikes? 16 miles? i am a total wimp. explains why one of my favorite sweetest parts was chuck surprising you with a room for the night :)

    and i loved that little waterfall. what a treat that must have been.

    okay. i have to go back and look again. :)

  16. i'm back :)

    how come the heart cactus made me warmly sad? i guess because it is just lovely...

    i love lupines. i would love to see a meadow of them.

    i could happily sleep in the back of the truck and not be a wimp.


    ...the kumeyaay site: how special to feel the spirit and work of the sisterhood.

    lori, i'm in aruba and you're in the desert and aren't we the luckiest ducks?

    oh, one more thing: i love being friends with you.


  17. Ok, after reading this I don't feel AS awful for missing out. I just can't take time off right now as we leave next week for the beginning of my tour.

    I got to revel in the beauty, soak in the cool oasis, and dream of zillions of stars.

    Thank you dear Lori,

    Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

  18. Hi Lori

    I enjoyed my little camping excursion with you...and the splendid photos of the flowers that you did see.
    You are a great sport and your husband is a very thoughtful man...

    Happy days

  19. glad you found the treehouse lori. you know you're always welcome there, right? a space where we can pick our noses and brains freely, no judgement. no dogmas or superstructures. only balance, peace and thought.

    love you so much, mother, mermaid, elf, dreamer, the camper in chanel and goddess in patagonia. ciao my friend


  20. Ahhh beautiful pictures

    I really love the heart shaped cactus...

    Looks like you had an awesome time!

  21. woweeee The Badlands - i think i have seeen them in movies. i love westerns :-) and the desert - reminds me of parts of Namibia. and its so true - to see things in the desert you have to learn the stillness.
    We have a big wild flower showing in Namaqualand in about June i think. its famous here and altho i would love to see it, we havent yet.
    I loved this trip with you two! the Hell Hole looks like a welcome relief from the heat of hiking trails! was the water salty? or sweet?
    You really make me hanker for some north American travel :-)
    haha Owen

  22. "i hold no preference among flowers, so long as they are wild, free and spontaneous" - that's funny, I prefer those same qualities in people. ;)

    Lovely, gorgeous photos...I have been wanting to camp in Anza-Borrego for years now - I've heard it's the best place ever for star-gazing!

    Glad you had such a wonderful trip, Lori :)

  23. Wow, what outstanding photographs as always.

  24. Oh Lori that was fun.

    What a wonderful way to spend time together.
    I love time in a desert... it's magical.

    Thanks for sharing these awesome photos.
    I love it that you spotted another heart too.
    They really are everywhere ;)

    big love to you
    Ribbon xxx

  25. Your desert photography is exquisite, and your camping trip makes me very envious. Very! I'm reminded of some of my trips to my favorite spot in the high desert, Steens Mountain and this post in particular.

    It's always nice to know how a new reader has found your blog. I found yours through your comments at kj's blog surrounding the circle of friends who knew and loved Renee. Alas, I was not one of them.

  26. Lori,
    Thank you for taking us along the trip.
    As always, fabulous pictures, beautiful story and full of love.

  27. Teri, the smells in the desert are some of my favorites too, sage and mesquite, even the sand and dust. Thank you for sharing your memories and thank you for such kind words.
    Thank you! i love being in the desert too, it's like no place else.
    i'm hoping it'll warm up there soon, it's been a long winter for so many! thank you for such kind words.
    your right, there is so much to see in all our deserts, joshua tree is my favorite, it's like another world. thank you.
    oh we only felt disapointment for a minute and then enjoyed the time we had there. it's always different and special. did you like the deserts when you took your trip with uncle john?
    Meagan, thank you sweetie. I hope all is well with you?
    we always feel that when we're there. someparts we say...it's like africa...
    thanks for the so kind words!
    enjoy your trip! love arizona.
    thank you for your words, i am touched and sitting here smiling. to know i can give a little pleasure sharing an experiance with nature makes my heart sing. love you too.
    the sahara! that is a desert! yes, the sky and the stars, it's like no place else. thank you for such kind words.

  28. Patty, it was my pleasure, i'm so glad you enjoyed!
    Natsy, it is magical and spirtual, well, you know, australia has magnificent deserts! i'm so glad you enjoyed. happy anniversary!
    thank you! i'm so glad you enjoyed your time here in the desert!
    thank you! i enjoyed everybit of the trip and making this post, i'm so glad you did too!
    kj, heeheehee, sigh, yes, nodding my head, everything you said, so much fun and so sweet. i'm glad you had a wonderful time on your island in the sun. thank you for all your lovely words. thank you for your friendship. love to you.
    Figueroa mountain. we think that will be the place this year, you should be back in time. maybe we'll meet again!
    thank you for such kind words, i'm glad you enjoyed. and yes, he is ♥
    e, i'll be over to play soon ♥
    Sammi, you'll see it when your here right? the desert is not far from the sea.
    Val, the water was cold and clear, tasteless, wonderful! you have seen badlands (there are several in ca) in many movies. there is a whole website devoted to that. i love it too. cowboys and indians!
    coming to telluride? we'll meet you and k there. we have a trip planned for august. i think that's when it is...
    Tracy, you are only about 2 1/2 hours away, go! i think it's true, every star ever made was there!
    Des, thank you very much!
    Ribbon, you live in (or very near) a desert don't you? i would love to see yours, someday maybe. thank you for your kind words love. :)

  29. hi lydia, your high desert post was truly beautiful. thank you so much for sharing that with me, i appreciate it! thank you so much for sharing how you came here and for your very kind words.
    3 years housewife,
    thank you dear, its always a pleasure to see you here.

  30. You did it again! You found another beautiful heart. Not so surprising, because you are so blessed.

    Spectacular trip, epic flower show notwithstanding. Even the lupines alone were worth it. Yikes, so glad those teddy bears only got your shoe! I hear awful stories of people being pricked.

    Thanks for taking us along with you! (Though staying home with Owen sounds like it would have been fun, too.)

  31. Lori, what an amazing and special time you have had. Thank you so much for sharing it with us all...like KJ, I shall be coming back again and again. The desert is so very beautiful and I feel as if I have walked the distance with you except I don't I have the blisters !
    What a sweetie Chuck is to give you a night with a proper bed and a shower as well as a night under the stars. Lucky, lovely Lori !

  32. What a wonderful way to start my day. Thank you for taking us with you on your camping adventure. Living in NH, I truly enjoyed seeing the varieties of flowers/plants. I do have lupine in my garden and coyotes come howling on a regular basis but other than that I had not seen many of these plants. Incredible photography ! Enjoy !

  33. hee hee, i'm back for the 14th time.

    now i'm off to bed. sleep tight sweet friend. tomorrow i write. maybe you will plant seeds? or tickle owen? not another 16 mile hike, right? :)

    ms. wimpy kj

  34. Oh how I loved going on your travels via your spectacular photos! The flowers are so beautiful and the landscape so very inspiring and different from anything I have ever seen. Thanks so much for sharing this!

  35. You found so much beauty in the desert! Thanks for sharing!

  36. Oh, I am so glad I finally found this post of yours! It reminded me of our beautiful desert garden in Albuquerque. Every spring it flowered with the most magnificent colors. Much like what you saw in your trip. My favorites were always the different kinds of cacti and watching the bees take long baths in the pollen... So glad you had a wonderful time!! Love, Silke

  37. ooooh, that was a heavenly post for my eyes! great photographs!

  38. You've captured the heart and beauty of the desert. Thanks for posting.


xoxo lori