We left Utah for a week and visited Joshua Tree National Park, a barely visited place for Chris and I; a new place to the kids.
There was climbing
Lilah took this one:
Gavin took this one:
There was lizard spotting, oasis hiking. The palm trees in the far right of the picture are at the 49 Palms Oasis, at the end of our hike.
The frogs were singing when we arrived at the oasis and there were birds settling in the for the night. We hiked back in the twilight and at the end, the moonlight.
We stopped at a free air art gallery of Noah Purifoy’s work near Joshua Tree, preserved since the artist’s death, to look at a huge variety of art made with things used and thrown away. Toilets, metal trays and tires were some of the most used objects in his creations.
Between Joshua Tree Park and San Diego we stopped through the Anza Borrego desert preserve to see wildflowers in bloom. We were a bit early for the full effect but it was still amazing.
In San Diego we visited tide pools nearby
and the beach.
We made forts out of driftwood
and watched sandpipers and cormorants
and played in the water
and collected shells.
While tidepooling we spotted lots of snails of various kinds
and hermit crabs and bigger crabs, and fish, tiny and medium, one itty bitty sea star, lots of sea grass and kelp, tops, a few cowrys, a shrimp, mussels and barnacles, a huge keyhole limpet,
lots of sea hares
and several nudibranchs of the Spanish Shawl variety plus one other I think was a Red Sponge nudibranch.
We saw a few seals swimming about offshore and then in La Jolla we visited their pupping beach and there were so many mom and baby pairs, swimming and sunning and enjoying life.
It was a lovely trip. We finished listening to Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan while driving.
When we got home were greeted by spring weather! The tree over our deck has burst into blooms and smells lovely and is bringing bees and butterflies to visit. There are so many visible buds and we’ve been eating outside every evening.