In Part I of Chasing Spring, I suggested we cabin-fevered folks of the High Country have ways of managing our spring lust other  than just waiting it out. Being at 5200 feet elevation and circled by mountains in a northern clime creates our long winters. I might complain about our late springs, but what it does afford is the opportunity to chase the best of spring by heading south and then slowly making way back north. It’s become an art to find warmth, free-flowing water, flowers, and sunshine. But it’s pretty simple really: just head south until you find it! Over the years we’ve honed our skills and found our favorite places. Then it’s a matter of knowing when the where of spring in the south is happening, and getting there on time.

Sometimes we have to go as far south as the Anza-Borrego State Park in southern California. It’s nearly all the way to the border with Mexico!  They are famous for their spring bloom in what is normally a pretty bleak and barren desert landscape. They even have a desert flower hotline that gives the latest report on the spring bloom. It’s short, but oh so sweet. The Wildflower Hotline is: 760-767-4684.

Cactus Bloom

You can find more information about the park at parks.ca.gov. Besides the wild fields of flowers, the Park has their version of a formal garden, ala desert style:

Desert Rock Garden

Until I had been to this Park, I had never seen the natural state of a palm tree that hadn’t been trimmed. I gotta say I like it much better!

Anza-Borrego Moonrise

The town of Borrego Springs, just outside the Park, is pretty cute and small, with good espresso coffee. Just how I like ’em. The drive in gives the impression of absolute desolation, but can make for interesting images:

Line and Form

I saw many cactus blooms in this park I had never seen before as well. I’ve tried to go back and identify them, but got lost in the many, many choices. Here’s another of my favorites. If you can identify it I’d love a note in the comments below!

What is this one?

Next time join me a little further north to catch spring at Joshua Tree National Park.

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