i was mistaken. we were in the mojave desert and
the colorado desert which is part of the sonoran desert, and they border each other. oh dear this is confusing. wikipedia
says it better, we were in joshua tree national park which includes both of these two california deserts. we came for one reason, to find and photograph the crotaphytus collaris, common collared lizard.
yucca brevifolia ~ joshua tree
teeny tiny ground squirrel
chuck needed a photo of a specific lizard. knowing it's habitat and preference for temperatures between 105-110 f (41-43 c) meant if we were to find one, we would be visiting the desert in summer. which was good for room rates, but not so much for hiking.
oh my goodness gracious it was hot
we hiked, and we looked, on every rock, in every crack
one trail led to a natural oasis
which was really lovely, the shade of these palms was welcome relief
in this extreme heat the earth seemed to shimmer
our desert accommodations
we arrived early monday and spent the day searching, finding many things, but still not a collared lizard to be seen
this little bird hasn't yet been identified. we saw few birds, they must all stay in their air conditioned nests :)
back at the inn for lunch, we looked around the grounds. there is a natural spring here at 29 palms
and an organic garden, where food is grown for the 29 palms inn restaurant
a two bedroom adobe for rent at the inn
lepus californicus ~ black-tailed jackrabbit
air conditioning! ice cold drinks! these were made with fresh plums picked that very morning in the fault line garden
where to look, my husbands baby blue eyes or the art for sale above him? hee hee easy choice
i looked at this! my yummy lunch (kidding honey) :)
we stayed in the 'buffalo bur'
cucurbita palmata ~ coyote melon coming across a green growing thing in the vast dry summer desert is exciting, supposedly the pulp is not edible but the seeds are, it's a little larger than an apple and so cute
jumbo rocks ~ a good place to camp, but not this time. this trip is our first time to rent a room, i don't think camping would be too much fun in such heat (thank you honey)
hello elephant rock!
end of the second day and still no lizards. but being in joshua tree is such a pleasure, it's a place of beauty and serenity (and a great place for rock climbing!)
at dinner we have lizards on our minds...visualize it, we can see it!... tomorrow, we will find it
next morning we're out early, and i'm determined
it's like finding a needle in a haystack, and then...
i see something!! now this is one we haven't seen yet on this trip
it's not the one we're looking for, but basking in the sun, is a very large and lovely chuckwalla
and later, another one! you must tiptoe up very slowly, making no sudden movements, or they run away, hide in a crack of rock and blow up their wrinkly skin, to wedge themselves in against predators
what is going on?? i am giggling and it's making it hard to hold the camera still
is this a yogi chuckwalla? what are you doing silly lizard?
can you please tell me where to find your friend the collared lizard? and that's when i realize he must have been directing me with his foot. that way...
and do you know he was right?! at the very end of a very long three days, there it was, a young female collared lizard. on a very precarious perch, not at all afraid of cameras and admirers. she is lifting her foot off the heated rock, a way to cool off. thank you little lizard, now you are no longer my husbands nemesis. did i mention i found her? hee hee, maybe i should get a new career, the lizard hunter
with extra big grins, we hiked back out, mopping our brows, and bid farewell to joshua tree (for now). can you spot the young coyote in this photo? this is what happens as soon as you pack up your lenses, this little guy ran right in front of us, stopped and posed, and i think i saw a wink.
back home waiting on our doorstep, was another package from my publisher.com
i made these tiny books
for children in my life, my grands and friends little ones
they are so small, measuring 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" only. at this size you are allowed 20 photos only. i chose ones i thought the children would like, animals mostly. and included a couple of photos of the pockets being worn. i thought others might like to have a copy too. so i'm giving away one of these tiny books, and it matters not if you sent a pocket along with me to africa, i know your well wishes were there. it's a small way of saying thank you for making the pockets
so very meaningful and so much fun. please leave a comment telling me if you'd like to win one of these books.
and please remember to leave a way for me to get in touch with you. i'll leave comments open until next sunday july 1st.
if you'd like to make your own photo book, i made a sort of tutorial here
and if you go to
) you will receive a FREE $20 gift card. that means you can make a 5 x 7 softcover photobook free with gift card (like the nkozi one), or a classic hardcover photobook for only $9.80 with card. i think you'll love it! (i think
if you mention i sent you i may qualify for a discount on future books. thank you if you do!).
thank you again for coming along with us, it is always a pleasure to share our adventures!