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Mitch Chesney
(MChesney) - F
Joshua Tree Coxcomb Mountains Backcountry on 03/24/2014 12:56:58 MDT Print View

(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.

Desert flowers in bloom

campsite

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!
tortoise
tortoise 2

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.

lizard

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?!

top view

night shot

Paul Schwerdt
(flexabull) - F

Locale: State of Jefferson
Great pics on 04/03/2014 09:46:27 MDT Print View

Thanks for sharing!

Gordon Gray
(GordonG) - F

Locale: Front Range, CO
Ninja turtle on 04/06/2014 21:50:23 MDT Print View

Tortuga! Crazy.

Jacob D
(JacobD) - F

Locale: North Bay
Re: Joshua Tree Coxcomb Mountains Backcountry on 04/07/2014 11:08:10 MDT Print View

Such a cool trip. JTree is already an amazing place - add the wildflowers and a tortoise!?! A one of a kind experience you had there.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Joshua Tree Coxcomb Mountains Backcountry on 04/09/2014 20:50:03 MDT Print View

Nice. The Coxcomb's are one of my favorite places. Close to home and almost guaranteed to not see other folks there.