Winter Sun

Tulip buds

     Now that there is ten hours of daylight, the plant world is waking up.  There is a sense of spring in the air.  I've noticed a few green shoots of daffodils and tulips here and there in the yard.  The sun is higher in the sky, and it i s light past 5:30.  I am a warm weather lover, and I can't wait for the next three weeks to pass, because March 1 is spring to me.

     Meanwhile, to get my sun fix this winter, my family vacationed in the Palm Springs, California area.  We had cloudy, rainy weather on day, but the rest of the time was sunny and warm.  The following photos are from some of the places we visited while in the Palm Springs area.

Joshua tree

     We spent a day at Joshua Tree National Park.

Joshua trees

     There were acres of mature Joshua trees.

cholla cactus

     And areas of cholla cactus which look soft and cuddly, but whose spines are very painful and duifficult to remove.

     There were also some very impressive rock formations in the park.

     Another extremely interesting place we visited was a windmill farm.  The Coachella Valley, wherein Palm Springs and other desert cities lie, has thousands of windmills that produce one quarter of the power for Los Angeles.  There are blinking red lights atop the windmills that helps keep the birds away.

     We saw an area of the farm where there are both windmills and solar panels.

     The valley is surrounded by mountains of up to 8,000 feet tall.

     We saw several different windmill designs, including the newest, most powerful windmills at 400 feet tall.

     Another beautiful, natural place we walked through was the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens.  We only visited the gardens that contain desert plants from many of the deserts around the world.

     One of the many plants we saw in the gardens was this pencil cholla.

     Brittle bush is another plant we encountered.

     One of my favorite plants we saw was this beavertail cactus.

     The most unusual specimen we saw was this Boojum tree.

     It seemed there was a lot of money and planning that went into these gardens.  One could spend many more hours than the afternoon we spent there.  The amount of plants was truly impressive.

     Happy Valentines day to all.  And now onward to spring!


  1. Warmth and sun are so vital during winter. I think vacations to warm, sunny places should be prescribed by doctors and paid for by insurance. Wouldn't that be fabulous? Palm Springs is too dusty for me but I can almost feel that warmth. :o)

  2. I really don't like cold weather and winter getaways are like a balm to me. We also visited half my family that live in Las Vegas while we were out there. It was so much warmer than here.