So Palm Springs is a pretty famous city in the southern California Palm Desert. And you know me by now, cities really aren’t my calling. But one of our favorite family members lives right next to to this famous place. And hey, it’s so warm there and this winter so cold here…..what better place to go???
This winter, this winter. Man, this winter’s been cold. You saw in my last couple of posts what trees look like when it’s continually sub zero. What we look like? Well, think michelin men and women, with layers and layers of clothing. We were definitely sick of the clothing. All the putting on, taking off, washing, drying, hanging up, putting on, taking off….well, you get the idea. I call it clothing management. Takes up a lot of time in a winter like this one. We got on that airplane with teeny little carry-ons holding very little clothing. It was a desperate leap of faith, I know.
But ahhhhh! The warm sweet air that feels good on bare skin was SUCH a treat. The whole week was like that. (Except for the two days of rain, but even then it was still in the 60’s!!). Hence, Palm Desert as an Oasis. I’m not talking just warmth and sunshine though. It truly was a wonder to see a real life, actual oasis like you’d see in one of those Lawrence of Arabia type movies. Actually, there was a Rudolph Valentino movie, Shiek, filmed here long ago. Ha ha – perfect!
Called the Thousand Palms Oasis, it lies just a few miles outside of Palm Springs, in the Palm Desert. It’s created by a huge rift in the earth, none other than the San Andreas Fault. I bet you’ve heard of that one: they’re expecting it to go any minute now….I was praying not on my visit.
Water springs forth from this huge fault, producing jaw dropping beauty in the middle of the parched desert, sheltering endangered species like the Desert Pupfish and the Fringe-toed Lizard, not to mention an assortment of birds, mountain lion, & coyote.
These are Fan Palms, and unlike the palms you’re used to seeing with just a few fronds swaying at the top, they haven’t been trimmed, creating these huge skirts that reach to the ground. I found them enchanting and wondered why they are so heavily groomed in the urban areas. Turns out the amount of shedding and debris they create are quite the fire hazard, and someone even said the piles stink! I didn’t notice that in my wanderings through the oasis (& there were lotsa piles!). But they surely do make fine patterns and shapes to enjoy.
These trees are such a presence. I even imagined them as Desert Ents, slowly patrolling around the ponds, having impromptu gatherings to catch up on what’s new:
I wish I had a photo to share of the rare & endangered Fringe-toed Lizard (my family has a long history of loving lizards), or the Desert Pup Fish. Didn’t see any, but oh well, check in next week where I’ll share the amazing animals I DID see in the Living Desert Zoo. :<)