I’ve returned from a long weekend in Joshua Tree and have been basking in the memories. It was one of my most enjoyable trips to the national park. The weather was in the mid-80° F, a full 10° cooler than in Los Angeles that weekend. Wildflowers were in bloom, some for the first time in years. And the desert creatures! I have been in Southern California for 16 years and had only seen two snakes in that time (a Desert Nightsnake and a Mountain Kingsnake). This last weekend, I saw FOUR Speckled Rattlesnakes and two Glossy Snakes (one alive, one roadkill). I also spotted a Chuckwalla from 40 feet away and spent 20 minutes with my friend photographing the big beautiful lizard, the second largest in the United States. Fourteen friends made it out to the desert, where we camped at Jumbo Rock campground, made hotdogs and s’mores under the starry night, and went on a few hikes in the area. Here’s a video I made of the weekend:
Here’s some of the photos from the trip. See my flickr.com page for more.