After we hit up the wildflowers at Lake Elsinore we headed to Borrego Springs, CA for the first time to check out the desert blooms. Our first big bloom sighting in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park was this amazing span of desert sunflowers. This is embarrassing, but I almost wrote an entire blog post about the wrong plant. Something didn’t seem right. I’m usually pretty darn good at figuring out what a plant is with a little google help, but I almost told you this is Encelia farinosa, when it is clearly Geraea canescens or hairy desert sunflower. I used the photo location feature on Flickr to figure out exactly where these were taken and it’s Henderson Valley Road where desert sunflowers go crazy every spring if there’s enough winter rain. I’m surprised they didn’t name this one Hairy old man desert sunflower based on the genus name Gerarea referring to an old dude in Greek.
I feel a little less embarrassed after reading that a bunch of the flowers in the aster family, desert wildflower crew look similar according to other folks. The thing that sets the desert sunflower apart is that it typically has branched flowers along with thick, hairy leaves.
Thanks to Calscape’s awesome native plant website I was able to figure out that this is a California Patch butterfly. Maybe if I didn’t wait over two years to post about something the plant names would be a little fresher in my head. The state park hands out maps and tells you where all the good spots to check out the flowers if I remember correctly. After witnessing the wildflower trample fest in Lake Elsinore and Lancaster it was refreshing to see flowers in a less crowded spot, especially during Spring Break. We had reservations to go back for Zoe’s 2020 Spring Break, but Covid happened.
It’s really hard to get me to pose for a photograph, but there are a couple pictures of me in desert sunflower heaven. I’d also like to ask that if anyone has seen the grey t-shirt with pigeons on the front that I’m wearing it’s been lost since Zoe and I went to Wisconsin two years ago and I miss it.
We took turns keeping Max company next to the car, so he didn’t trample the flowers or cook in the minivan. This was his last long road trip. He was so old and deaf that we could finally take him to outdoor restaurants without worrying about him freaking out on someone. He was always great off leash, but on he could be sketchy on. Heck, Zoe could even walk him his last two or three years. Stay tuned for more desert posts.
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