The Desert Blooms

We spent most of the day today hiking near Palm Canyon and identifying wildflowers, they are nearing their peak bloom in the California Anza Borrego desert this winter. The ground is covered in millions of tiny colorful blossoms. More tomorrow, Gail Niebrugge, Wildflower artist


The temperature was 80 in Borrego Springs yesterday so we drove to Blair Valley to hike, at this higher elevation the temperature was a comfortable 72. We followed the well marked Blair Valley Road and easily found the trailhead for the Morteros, an ancient American Indian campsite where we saw the bowl shaped holes formed […]

Tumbleweed in the Pumpkin Patch

Yesterday afternoon we explored the Badlands of the Anza Borrego State Park and found the Pumpkin Patch, a place scattered with pumpkin shaped rocks. Unusual and interesting. It was sunset, and the low light gave the rocks a yellow/orange glow. The Badlands are a maze of 4 wheel drive trails that follow sandy washes up […]

Carpets of Sand Verbena

Evening light illuminated the wildflower Sand Verbena changing the color of the landscape to fuchsia as it clings to desert dunes. This spot along the Henderson Canyon Road is a nice place to enjoy sunset. More tomorrow, Gail Niebrugge, wildflower artist

Desert Lily

So far I’ve only found a couple of these beautiful lilies, both were solitary plants growing near the Di Giorgio Road/ Coyote Creek trail in the Anza Borrego desert of southern California. We drove the Coyote Creek trail as far as our vehicle would allow without high centering on rocks, then hiked a distance up […]

First Cactus Flowers

We hiked the desert floor west from the Anza Borrego Visitor Center toward the canyon that lies between Hellhole Canyon and the Palm Canyon and spotted the first blooming California Barrel Cactus! In another week the tops of these plants will be festooned with these pretty yellow flowers! More tomorrow, Gail Niebrugge, pointillism paintings

The Desert Begins to Bloom

The best wildflower bloom at the moment in the Anza Borrego State Park is along the Henderson Canyon Road where lawn sized patches of the blue/purple Sand Verbena cling to rolling ridges punctuated with spots of the soft white Dune Primrose. Lovely to see. During our visit we heard the yelping calls of two packs […]

California Barrel Cactus

These tall, fat, California barrel cactus swell up from absorbing moisture after a rainfall and shrivel during the dry season. When cut open they are a good source of water for the desert big horn sheep, but not for humans because the moisture inside is very alkaline and will cause a greater thirst. I love […]

Borrego Cactus Loop Trail

Bob blends into the landscape wearing his camo jacket while hiking among the ocotillo cactus on the Cactus Loop Trail in the Anza Borrego Desert State Park, California. Although rain, wind and cool weather were forcast for today, it turned out sunny and nice and sure beats the weather in Alaska at the moment. The […]

Photographing a Waterfall at Palm Canyon Oasis

Our son, photographer Ron Niebrugge, set up to shoot the waterfall at the oasis at the end of the Borrego Palm Canyon trail. This spot is lush and beautiful, fresh water pools among large boulders, lots of desert foliage and a grove of tall palm trees. The trail to the oasis is scattered with the […]

Borrego Palm Canyon Nature Trail

Bob and I at the oasis at the end of the 2.6 mile Palm Canyon hiking trail. This hike follows a stream bed and is full of interesting native desert plants and boulders, the stream is often visited by bighorn sheep although we did not spot any on this trip. I plan to visit this […]

Hiking the Hellhole Canyon

Bob and I at the Maidenhair Falls in the Hellhole Canyon of the Anza Borrego State Park, California. Our 6 mile round trip hike up the Hellhole Canyon revealed a lot of early wildflowers, and the very beginning of red blooms on the Ocotillo cactus. Near the Maidenhair Falls were several cool oasis with palm […]

Winter Research in Anza Borrego CA

Our son, photographer Ron Niebrugge and his wife Janine join Bob and I during a day hike in the Anza Borrego State Park in southern California. We are spending time in the desert this winter anticipating a bonanza wildflower bloom due to the excellent timing of rain in the area. The plants are full of […]

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