Agave deserti in June Wash

Agave deserti (Desert Agave, Century Plant, Mescal, Maguey) panicle; June Wash, Anza Borrego Desert State Park, California. December 2019.

When my friend Hans and I hiked from June Wash to the Mud Palisades at the end of December 2019, we came upon an Agave deserti var. deserti (Mescal, Century Plant or Maguey) at the peak of its bloom. We were only on the way in but it was inevitable to stop the car for a few minutes to admire the plant and make photos of it. :)

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Dithyrea californica (Spectacle Pod)

The spectacle-like pods of Dithyrea californica (Spectacle pod), June Wash, Anza Borrego Desert State Park, California. January 2019.

Due to the more volatile nature of blooms in the desert, I have not spent that much attention to the flowers that can be found there in the past. In 2017, we had a “superbloom” in Anza Borrego (and the place was completely overrun with people) – in 2018, there was almost nothing because there was hardly any rain.

With the good amounts of rain we received so far, it looks like we might get another superbloom this year. We’ll have to see if everything comes together to make it happen.

But either way, there are already exciting finds waiting to be discovered and photographed everywhere in the desert right now, thanks to the storm right at the beginning of the 2018/2019 water year – it brought surprising amounts of rain to the desert, and many of the plants reacted to it, blooming a little bit outside of their usual time.

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Opuntia basilaris (Beavertail Cactus)

Young Pad of Beavertail Cactus

We went to Anza Borrego Desert State Park yesterday after seeing many photos and reading reports of nice wildflower blooms. While trying my hand at some macros of the beautiful wildflowers, I also spent some time studying details of the Beavertail cactus (Opuntia basilaris) with the camera. Here are six of them that I’m quite happy with.

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