(Full photo gallery here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/112412640@N03/sets/72157642855019533/)
After a long week of work I decided to enjoy some backcountry offerings in Joshua Tree. Little did I realize the park was in spring bloom despite a year of drought here on the west coast! It was certainly a pleasant surprise to pitch camp in a field of wildflowers surrounded by the gentle humming of bees and birds.
I even saw a MASSIVE desert tortoise. The thing was at least 16" long where I read they only reach up to 14" and spend 95% of their life underground. What amazing luck to meet such an ancient creature!
And then I got to see another creature I've always wanted to see - a horned lizard. This little guy was super-friendly. I think he mistook my camera shutter as a smaller insect because he kept charging the camera. I could put out my finger and he'd bump into it like he wanted to climb onto me. Eventually I had to get up from laying down because he ran under me and I was afraid to squash him.
The weather was wonderful, only about 80F during noon hours. I was surprised to swap some mosquitos during the dusk hours. Mosquitos! In the desert?!