I'm home from my trip to Southern California and I'm so happy to be able to pick up my computer and have the internet available whenever I want it! lol... The trip was fun with the sightseeing and visiting, but I sure missed being able to just open up the laptop and connect whenever I wanted. I'll add a few more photos that were taken on one of the days we went driving around. After leaving Barstow, we headed to Riverside where my Aunt and some of my cousins live. One day while we were there, we took a drive out to Joshua Tree National Monument hoping to see wildflowers and cactus in bloom but were pretty disappointed. There were wildflowers in bloom, but they were rather scattered. I saw some cactus in bloom, but those, too, were very scattered and scarce. Plus, most were out off the road a distance and our driver at that time just drove on by. **sigh** (Our driver that day was my Aunt's hubby... Just love teasing him.. But I sure wish we had stopped a few more times...)
We stopped at one of the official visitors centers in the park and I found one particularly spectacular cactus in bloom in the "gardens" that surrounded the visitor's center building. Gorgeous, isn't it? That was the only one around the center that had such a spectacular display.This image is not edited in any way, either. The colors were just as vivid in person, if not even more. They almost glowed in the sunlight! I love the contrast between the cactus blooms and the red flowers in the back and the bright yellow flowers in the forground.
As I wandered around the outside of the building I did spot one of the many barrel cacti in bloom and got a shot of it. There were a number of barrel cacti in the planters around the building, but only one had flowers open, while the others all had buds that looked like they were ready to open at any moment.
After leaving the visitor's center, we drove through the park looking for other cacti and wildflowers in bloom. When we came across the "Cholla Cactus Garden", my Mom, Aunt and I hollered for a stop so we could look around. This was a huge patch of Cholla cactus (It's pronounced "choy-ya"). Another name for these cacti is "Teddy Bear Cactus". Anyone who runs across these cacti out in the deserts will remember them. Especially if they were unlucky enough to get too near or to brush up against one will remember them for a long, long time. The top or end pieces of them will "jump" off the cacti and stick to whoever the unlucky person was. (And yes, I was one of those unlucky people when I was a kid! LOL) It doesn't take much for the spines on those pieces to penetrate skin and stick tight. Since there is sort of a little "hook" on the ends of the spines, they're quite painful when they are being removed from their victim. Believe me, I stayed well back from the garden when I took my pictures... After heading further south through the desert, we ended up at a casino near the Salton Sea. We played the penny machines for a while and then headed back through Palm Desert and Indio to Riverside. My big regret is that we didn't stop at one of the roadside stands that are common down there. I would have loved to buy some "fresh" dates to bring home. I really wanted to get a date shake too... Oh well. Maybe the next time I head to Southern California.
It was a good trip, but I am very glad to be home sitting in my recliner listening to the rain on my windows... I really do need to finish unpacking and do my laundry... lol, maybe tomorrow.