We visited the south entrance of Joshua Tree on the afternoon of January 12, 2019, just a few miles north of I-10 on Cottonwood Springs Road. We stopped at several places along the road, amazed at how many young plants and flowers there were already.
The brittlebush was blooming profusely in some areas but not yet in others, and it was good to see so many young brittlebush plants that were 1-2 inches high.
There were many areas of brown-eyed primrose, with many of the flowers already past peak and forming numerous seed pods. The Arizona lupine was in full bloom, with the flower spikes over a foot high above the desert floor.
All the plants looked robust. There were patches of desert poppies and desert sunflowers, but as a storm was approaching, these flowers were tightly closed.
Some areas were so thick with small plants that it would not have been possible to step in these areas without walking on a plant! Please note: be very careful where you go; some areas have more barren areas where you can walk, but don’t step on the plants! Most of them only have one chance to bloom and set seed, and if you break the flower stalk, the plant can’t reproduce.
We saw several hummingbirds, including a male doing display flights, and a flock of smaller birds, probably either sparrows or finches. This looks to be a promising year for wildlife too because of all the rain.
Because a storm was approaching with thunder and lightning, the flower photo opportunities were somewhat limited, but I have included a few to share.
Click on any photo below to enter an interactive slideshow of the photos shown.