Sunday, March 17, 2013

Rare Joshua Tree Bloom In Full Swing

It's that time of year again – the Joshua Tree's are blooming in the Mojave Desert. Only this year it's the rare full out effort!

Our first year of snowbirding in Mesquite, SIX years ago, we were treated to the magnificent splendor of riding through our newly discovered old growth Joshua Tree forest in North Valley a couple of weeks before we re-migrated back up north for the summer. If you haven't been there, the trees are all above your head in a canopy and are all hundreds of years old as evidenced by their extensive branching.

The crisp protected valley's air was so sweet with fragrance you could taste it on your lips. We'd never seen such a site before and were eagerly awaiting the site again the next year. Unfortunately, it was not to happen.

It seems that those finicky things have to have climate, lighting, etc. exactly right or they don't bloom at all. That's why you find us desert rats scouring the trails each year in the spring to see if the trees are going to do it this year.

Oh, each year there are isolated spots where a few trees will throw a few blossoms – probably just to taunt us about what we are missing; but, never the "full monty" like we saw it the first time.

Bloom Alert! Bloom Alert!

HOWEVER, this year them trees are putting on a show like we've never seen before! Gordon told me a week ago we better go quick to see the trees along Lytle Ranch Road north of Beaver Dam and west of "Old Hwy 91."

We got around to it yesterday and have never seen such a site. All along 91 we could see blooms on the trees, but they were so far back from the pavement that they didn't make too much of an impression. Once we turned onto Lytle Ranch Road though it was a different story. There the trees are adjacent to the dirt road and are much more thick.

Every tree was full of blooms. On one we counted over twenty-five. Unfortunately the fragrance wasn't noticeable because we were in our van and, of course, that road isn't in a protected valley where the aroma could settle. BUT, it really was a site.

And, the blooming continued all along our trail through the Tule desert over to the Carp-Elgin Road and down to the freeway (a LOOONG ride in a van).

SO, unless you want to miss the very rare exhibition of blooms, you better be planning a ride in the desert real quick like.


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