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January 27, 2015

Fred Melgert reports that desert lilies are beginning to bloom along Henderson Canyon Road, mostly between S-22 and Borrego Valley Road.  He says that only a few are in bloom now but that this area looks very promising for wide spread bloom of lilies in a few weeks or so.


Also... Rain this week increases the chance that this will be the best flower year out of the past several. We have had several reports that there is a lot of plant germination in the Borrego Valley.  Plants are just beginning to be seen poking through the ground.  That bodes well for flowers in another few weeks.

Desert Lily  Photo by Fred Melgert

Another desert lily - this one not yet in bloom.  Photo by Fred Melgert.

January 21, 2015

Fred and Carla send these interesting shots from today on Thimble Peak, ashy silk tassel and a close shot of a pollinating bee.  Hiking information here.

Ashy silk tassel, Garrya flavescens Fred Melgert

Ashy silk tassel, Garrya flavescens with bee pollinating Fred Melgert


January 20, 2015

Palm Canyon Trail

Marcy Yates says pretty colors are starting to appear along Borrego Palm Canyon trail -- huge bushes of red chuparosa flowers, tall stands of desert lavender, and a few bright yellow brittlebush flowers.  There were some very happy bees buzzing around the flowers.  Lots of green plants hint at the possibility of more flowers to come.  It may be a good year for phacelia and rock daisies in this area. As of this morning (1/20), running water flowed over the small waterfalls near the first palm grove and almost to the trail crossing at the wash.


Note: We have had several reports saying there is more water flowing in Palm Canyon now than in recent years.  So it would be a good time to take that hike.

Photo by Marcy Yates

Photo by Marcy Yates

Photo by Marcy Yate


January 19, 2015

Culp Valley

Fred and Carla send us the first shot of desert apricot this year, from Culp Valley.

Hiking information here

 Desert apricot, Prunus fremontii Fred Melgert


January 17, 2015

Domelands East

Today Fred and Carla explored the visually strinking Domelands area, south of Anza-Borrego, where they headed into the less visited eastern part.   Some of their flower shots are shown below.  Hiking information here.

Rose mallow, Sphaeralcea ambigua var. rosacea Fred Melgert

Hoffmannseggia, Caesalpinia virgata  Fred Melgert

Heartleaf sun-cup, Camissonia cardiophylla ssp. cardiophylla Fred Melgert

Remains of ancient shells, from a time when this area was covered by a shallow sea.

Photo by Fred Melgert


January 16, 2015

Palm Canyon

Cyclists hate this plant.  But what's pretty is pretty and even 'bad plants' can have nice flowers. This is also very small flower; take notice of the grains of sand at the bottom.

Puncture-vine, Tribulus terrestris Fred Melgert

Plus this one from Palm Canyon: Rock crossosoma, Crossosoma bigelovii  Fred Melgert


January 12, 2015

Yaqui Meadows Loop

Everyone is waiting to see if conditions will be right for a good bloom of flowers this spring.  In the meanwhile Fred and Carla are out exploring on a regular basis and they are finding flowers on just about all of their trips, not the desert floor carpeted in flowers, but beautiful flowers tucked away in canyons and washes where there has been enough moisture to sustain them.


This trip was to Sweeney Pass South Canyon, in the south part of Anza-Borrego, where they found this very large desert tobacco plant, along with other species, such as Newberry's velvet mallow, ground cherry, desert lavender, along with a nice bloom of brittlebush.  HIking details here.

Desert tobacco, Nicotiana obtusifolia by Fred Melgert

January 6, 2015

Sweeney Pass South Canyon

A beautiful barrel cactus photo by Fred Melgert taken on Yaqui Ridge today.

Hike details here.

January 4, 2015

Yaqui Meadows Loop

Fred and Carla send some beautiful flower pictures from this nice loop east of Glorieta Canyon.  We are all waiting to see what the rain will produce, but in the meanwhile Fred and Carla continue to find beautiful flowers and send us beautiful pictures.  Hiking details here.

Brittlebush, Encelia farinosa  Photo by Fred Melgert

Paperbag Bush / Mexican Bladder Sage, Scutellaria mexicana Photo by Fred Melgert


December 31, 2014

Snow in Culp Valley

It did not snow in the Borrego Valley but Fred and Carla found plenty of snow not very far away, in the Culp Valley, and they send us these pictures of snow-covered cholla and yucca





December 16, 2014

Birth of a Smoketree

Fred Melgert sends this excellent photo of the birth of a smoketree.  Smoketree seeds will only germinate after being tossed about in a flood, which removes a protective layer on the seed.  In this photo you see not only the young tree but also evidence of the flood that took place with the cracked plates of mud, that have since dried in the sun. 

You can click the image above to download Fred's original full size image, which shows more detail and perspective.


December 16, 2014

Oyster Wash, From Fred and Carla 

Trailing windmills, Allionia incarnata by Fred Melgert

Fremont's Desert Thorn, Lycium fremontii by Fred Melgert


December 15, 2014

From Fred and Carla on the Thimble Trail Loop.  Hiking Details Here  They say they saw the best Asters so far this season, some nice desert holly, and once in a while, a Creosote in bloom  They also report the first blooming Silky dalea that they have ever encountered.

Silky dalea, Dalea mollis Photo by Fred Melgert

Chinch-weed, Pectis papposa var. papposa Photo by Fred Melgert

Alkali goldenbush, Isocoma acradenia var. acradenia Photo by Fred Melgert


December 9, 2014

Fred and Carla send these photos from the Domelands area in the south part of Anza-Borrego.

View Hiking Details


Rosy apricot mallow, Sphaeralcea ambigua var. rosacea Photo by Fred Melgert

Ocotillo, Fouquieria splendens ssp. splendens Photo by Fred Melgert

White-stemmed milkweed, Asclepias albicans Photo by Fred Melgert

Nevada indigo-bush, Psorothamnus polydenius Photo by Fred Melgert


December 1, 2014

Fred Melget sends these great flower shots from the Elephant Knees in the southern part of Anza-Borrego.

Sticky fagonia, Fagonia pachyacantha by Fred Melgert

Wire-lettuce, Stephanomeria pauciflora Photo by Fred Melgert



November 29, 2014

Fred and Carla this report from the north fork of arroyo salada loop. where they braved what they called an "artificial dust storm" from the thousands of off-roaders at Ocotillo Wells SVRA over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

Indigo bush, Psorothamnus schottii by Fred Melgert

Palmer's crinklemat, Tiquilia palmeri by Fred Melgert

Pima rhatany, Krameria erecta by Fred Melgert


November 27, 2014

Fred and Carla send us some nice flower shots taken along the Jasper Trail.

View Hiking Details

Sapphire woolly-star, Eriastrum sapphirinum ssp. sapphirinum  by Fred Melgert

Slender wreathplant, Stephanomeria exigua ssp. exigua by Fred Melgert


November 15, 2014

Joy Ziemnick sends us this great photo of a queen butterfly taken along Fish Creek.

Very nice photo!


Boundary Goldenbush Ericameria brachylepis  Photo by Joy Ziemnick


November 15, 2014

Fred Melgert and Carla Hoegen checked out the Lizard Wash - Chuckwalla Loop hike they are doing for ABDNHA on January 3 and, as usual, they have found flowers!  Welcome back to Borrego!  Here are some pictures from their hike.  Note that Fred has developed an app for Anza Borrego Hiking that is based on the information on his website.  The app is available for free in the Google Play Store.


Wand Sage, Salvia vaseyi  Great find Carla!    Photo by Fred Melgert


Second shot of Wand Sage Photo by Fred Melgert

Third shot of wand sage  Photo by Fred Melgert

Trailing Windmills, Allionia incarnata var. incarnata Photo by Fred Melgert

Parish's Goldeneyes   Bahiopsis parishii  Photo by Fred Melgert


November 14, 2014

We had two submissions from Glorietta Canyon today.....

First, Joy Ziemnick sends us a couple of great shots of Bighorn Sheep that they saw on a ridge at the top. 


Photo by Joy Ziemnick

Photo by Joy Ziemnick


...and a photo from Fred Melgert.  Fred and Carla report spurges everywhere, at least four different species, and the flowers are very tiny, male and female flowers on the same plant.

Red-gland spurge, Chamaesyce melanadenia Photo by Fred Melgert




November 11, 2014

ABDNHA members Joy and Jim ziemnick, here for a short time from the cold and snowy UP of Michigan, send us some beautiful photos taken over the past couple of days.

A Chuparosa near Mine Wash  Photo by Joy Ziemnick

Coyote Melons off of the Jasper Trail Road     Photo by Joy Ziemnick

Sand Verbena, Henderson Canyon Road     Photo by Joy Ziemnick

A hummer taking a break in Plum Canyon      Photo by Joy Ziemnick

August 17, 2014

Summer color around Borrego Springs following a major rainstorm two weeks ago. Sulphur butterflies (shown) and Tiny Checkerspots (not shown) sip nectar from blooms of red Fairy Duster and ornamental Texas Ranger (shown in various shades of purple). Orange blooming Mexican Bird of Paradise contrasts with the desert's bright blue sky. Native Ocotillos are in full green leaf across the Borrego Valley.

Texas Ranger with Orange sulpher butterfly - Marcy Yates

Texas Ranger in full bloom. Note color variation in flower color between this dark purple and the lavender. This plant attracted more bees than butterflies. Leucophyllum frutescens is an evergreen shrub in the figwort family, Scrophulariaceae, native to the state of Texas. — at Borrego Springs, CA  Betsy Knaak

Fairy Duster in bloom, August 16, 2014. — at Borrego Springs, CA. Betsy Knaak

Two weeks after a storm that dropped 3 inches of rain, the Ocotillo throughout the Borrego Valley responded with full leaf, casting a haze of green across the desert.  ....a haven of shade — at Borrego Springs, CA.  Betsy Knaak

Mexican Bird of Paradise in full bloom two weeks after major rain storm of early August. Note blooming Agave on right. — at Borrego Springs, CA.  Betsy Knaak.


April 11, 2014

From Fed and Carla:  The terrain in the Bittercreek area is growing back after the 2012 fire, but is still easy to hike. The wide-throated yellow monkeyflowers are still there, but no longer in the hundreds.  Also, the first desert prickly-pear this season.


Hiking details here 

desert prickly-pear, Opuntia phaeacantha

desert prickly-pear, Opuntia phaeacantha Fred Melgert

Coves's cassia, Senna covesii Fred Melgert

April 10, 2014

This is the time to visit Culp Valley, cool and still some flowers. And Culp Valley due to the 2012 fire is still accessible. Carla spent weeks searching for the showy penstemon and at last we found one.  It is a fire follower so this may be one of the last in this area. Primrose still bloom early in the day. Western wallflower, the first we found this season, are growing along the Old Culp Valley Road. We still found two Bush monkeyflower, they tend to grow in the most difficult to reach spot. All in all we found a nice collection of flowers on the Borrego side of the ridge. - Fred & Carla

Hiking details here 

showy penstemon, Penstemon spectabilis var. spectabilis Fred Melgert

western wallflower, Erysimum capitatum var. capitatum Fred Melgert

Bush Poppy, Dendromecon rigida

Bush Poppy, Dendromecon rigida Fred Melgert

sapphire woolly-star, Eriastrum sapphirinum ssp. sapphirinum

sapphire woolly-star, Eriastrum sapphirinum ssp. sapphirinum Fred Melgert

April 6, 2014

Hellhole Canyon is a must do hike. It's a more adventurous trail, but one of the most hiked, it changed a bit after the August 2013 rain A tip: stay closer to the water while crossing it a couple of times. At the maidenhair falls, orchids are blooming. Not as many as there should be but plenty.  Smoothleaf yerba santa are blooming mostly beyond the maidenhair falls, but if you look carefully you may find one earlier on. Three kinds of Willows are blooming, two real and one desert Willow. White Sage is blooming in this canyon but in a lot of other places as well; they make due with less water. And of course you can go even further than the falls. - Fred and Carla


Hiking details here 

stream orchid, Epipactis gigantea Fred Melgert Anza Borrego

stream orchid, Epipactis gigantea Fred Melgert

climbing milkweed, Funastrum cynanchoides var. hartwegii anza borrego fred melgert

Climbing Milkweed, Funastrum cynanchoides var. hartwegii Fred Melgert


smoothleaf yerba santa, Eriodictyon trichocalyx var. lanatum Fred Melgert


April 5, 2014

Two interesting photos today from Culp Valley.  The first, by Fred Melgert, shows the unusual Pholisma arenarium in flower.  The second photo, by Bob Stinson, shows an interesting pegmatite dike, partly eroded, to make it look like a carefully landscaped garden wall.

Pholisma arenarium by Fred Melgert


Pholisma is a parasitic plant, a perennial herb,  lacking chlorophyll,  that grows in association with various shrubs, taking it nutrients from their roots.  This flowering plant goes by several different common names, including  desert Christmas tree, scaly-stemmed sand plant, and purple sand food.


Pegmatite wall in Culp Valley Bob Stinson


April 1, 2014

Today's report from Fred and Carla covers the Indian Valley Torote Canyon area; lots of boulders to be found here.  And they also continue to spot flowers.  They reporst a handful of monkey flowers, but very big ones, along with some yello chuparosa and blooming cacti.

Hiking details here

Anza Borrego Flowers Broom Twinberry, Menodora scoparia

Broom Twinberry, Menodora scoparia Fred Melgert

anza borrego flower fish hook cactus

Fish-hook Cactus, Mammillaria dioica Fred Melgert

anza borrego flower yellow chuparosa fred melgert

Chuparosa, Justicia californica Fred Melgert

anza borrego desert flower desert hibiscus fred melgert

 Desert Hibiscus, Hibiscus denudatus Fred Melgert


March 29, 2014

From the Pacific Crest Loop, by Fred and Carla 

The Thistle Sage are very picky where they grow, so far we found them only in one specific spot. Wide-throated yellow monkeyflower are still there, but not for long as they are fire followers. (2012 fire) Bigelow's monkeyflower, the first time this season we found fields of them. Fields of Fremont pincushion and some yellow pincushion, another fire follower. It's time for the Blue Dicks right now, you see them a lot in this area. Because of the recent fire plants are bigger than usual, like the Chia. The west side of the Grapevine mountain is always a good place for flowers The first time this season, monkey flowers, and 2 species in the same wash. Some of the flowers are fire followers, so for some this may be the last time.

Hiking details here

anza borrego desert flower baby blue eyes fred melgert

Baby Blue Eyes Nemophila menziesii Fred Melgert


anza borrego desert flower thistle sage fred melgert

Thistle Sage, Salvia carduacea Fred Melgert


anza borrego desert flower chaparral gilia fred melgert

Chaparral Gilia, Gilia angelensis Fred Melgert

anza borrego desert flowers wallaces woolly daisy fred melgert

Wallace's woolly daisy, Eriophyllum wallacei Fred Melgert

anza borrego desert flower blue dicks fred melgert

Blue Dicks, Dichelostemma capitatum Fred Melgert


March 25, 2014

Carrizo Wash - Fred and Carla.  Mesquit and Catclaw are blooming in the canyon. Notice the California Copperleaf, with the tiny flowers. We came across a dead Borrego. Water is not that far away, maybe the Coyote got him, we saw one as we entered the Canyon. We see bighorn sheep frequently in the Carrizo Canyon. There is a  large forgotten oasis here, with a healthy population of over 100 Palms. It isn't on the map, no sign, so hardly anyone will visit it, Not the easiest hike, with some rocks and boulders. The wash road up to the canyon is good, but with plenty of soft sand this year.


Hiking details here

honey mesquite anza borrego desert fred melgert

Honey Mesquite, Prosopis glandulosa Fred Melgert

anza borrego desert flower california copperleaf fred melgert

California Copperleaf, Acalypha californica Fred Melgert


March 24, 2014

Culp Valley - Fred and Carla  We simply had to go back to Culp Valley, the best place to find flowers this year. This time up along a dry spring, more to the east. The first time this season we saw fields of pincushion (white and yellow) and woolly daisy. A lot of Acton Brittlebush, Golden-Yarrow, 3 kind of Lupines. The Schott's calico along the Wilson trail is the first we ever saw. This time we probably saw the highest number of different blooming flowers ever. Warning: This hike is NOT easy, expect boulders and some steep canyons. The plants like boulders and canyon walls, that's where the flowers are.


Hiking details here


cream cups, Platystemon californicus anza borrego desert fred melgert

cream cups, Platystemon californicus Fred Melgert

White stemmed blazing star, Mentzelia albicaulis anza borrego fred melgert

White stemmed blazing star, Mentzelia albicaulis Fred Melgert

anza borrego desert woolly-star, Eriastrum eremicum ssp. ere fred melgertmicum anza borrego fred melgert

desert woolly-star, Eriastrum eremicum ssp. eremicum Fred Melgert

anza borrego California Rock Cress, Boechera californica anza borrego fred melgert

California Rock Cress, Boechera californica Fred Melgert

anza borrego desert flower palmer's milk-vetch

Palmer's milk-vetch, Astragalus palmeri Fred Melgert

borrego desert flower schott's calico fred melgert

Schott's calico,  Loeseliastrum schottii Fred Melgert

desert dudleya in anza borrego, Dudleya saxosa ssp. aloides anza borrego fred melgert

desert dudleya, Dudleya saxosa ssp. aloides Fred Melgert



March 17, 2014

Culp Valley-Wilson Trail by Fred & Carla  Culp Valley looks very dry,  but when you hike up the wash towards the Pinyon Ridge, you see more and more flowers. We expected some flowers blooming, but not as many as we saw.


Prickly poppy like some rocks, so we found them a bit out of the wash.  We've seen purple nightshade blooming in the area for months now and it is still going strong, they like the shade too. It may be a bit early for blue dicks, we saw only one. Jimson Weed is doing great, you see them all over the place. Pincushions are good, at least more than a single one in other places. The Yellow Pincushions are more rare, they look good on film. Milk-vetch is still blooming and has large fruits, this is one of the places where you can find two species. Whispering bells are still there after many months. Bush monkeyflowers, you find many of them as well. Plenty of desert globemallow. Wild-cucumber has made some nice fruit, that's how you recognize them.

Hiking details here

culp valley many desert flowers fred melgert

Comment by Mike:  There are so many flower photos in the Culp Valley - Wilson Trail report that a thumbnail of Fred's Picasa page is shown above.  Click it to view the gallery.

prickly poppy, Argemone munita anza borrego fred melgert

prickly poppy, Argemone munita Fred Melgert


lotebush, Ziziphus parryi var. parryi anza borrego fred melgert

lotebush, Ziziphus parryi var. parryi Fred Melgert

Parish' Jacumba milk-vetch, Astragalus douglasii var. parishii anza borrego fred melgert

Parish' Jacumba milk-vetch, Astragalus douglasii var. parishii  Fred Melgert



March 16, 2014

June Wash Sandstone Canyon by Fred & Carla.  Even here where we didn't expect any flowers, we found Asters in good shape, nice Bristly Langloisia, big Desert Tobacco and even some Lupine.  The Ocotillo seem to be a bit later, but with green leaves along the road close to Vallecito  and blooming, they must like it. This hike starts in the June Wash,where  a 4x4 is preferred. This is a way to get to the Sandstone canyon without driving into Fishcreek. Hike up to the "Peak", this is an amazing viewpoint, one of the best. The route goes down steeply on a short but slippery slope into a fork of the Sandstone canyon. Hiking back is in the impressive Sandstone canyon, one of the best canyons in the park, up to a saddle and back to the car.

Hiking details here

Bristly Langloisia, Langloisia setosissima ssp. setosissima Anza Borrego Fred Melgert

Bristly Langloisia, Langloisia setosissima ssp. setosissima Fred Melgert

Bristly Langloisia, Langloisia setosissima ssp. setosissima

Closeup  Bristly Langloisia, Langloisia setosissima ssp. setosissima Fred Melgert

sandstone canyon view fred melgert

Canyon View Fred Melgert


March 13, 2014

The lower willows is a nice place to hike right now, one of the greener places in the park. The road is very good up to third crossing but good ground clearance is recommended. There is some soft sand at the start of the dirt road. The Willows are blooming at the moment (2 species of real Willows not the Desert Willow that only looks like a Willow),  and the Cholla are early this year. Willows, Honey mesquite and Arrow-weed are  blooming.   We set out to find the spring and circled as close as possible around it, but it is not possible to get to the spring right now; the vegetation is incredibly dense. You should be able to get to the Palm oasis. The hiking trail is almost fully restored, except for the sign, that is still missing.-  Fred & Carla

Hiking details here


Goodding's Willow?, Salix gooddingii? Fred Melgert

Narrow-leaved Willow?, Salix exigua var. exigua?

Narrow-leaved Willow?, Salix exigua var. exigua? Fred Melgert

Spanish Needles, Palafoxia arida var. arida

Spanish Needles, Palafoxia arida var. arida Fred Melgert

Over view Fred Melgert


March 12, 2014

Today's report is from Harper Dams.  Starting at the end of the Pinyon road, Fred and Carla hiked up Pinyon canyon, across Harper flat, turned right and ended up at the Harper dams.  Fred describes this as a very nice narrow canyon with some obstacles. They then went back along the Pinyon Mountain road to take a look at  Heart Attack Hill/Pinyon Drop-off.  Fred says, "man what a steep drop," down into a small canon, where the old shack is located. Watch out for the Chaparral Dodder, that looks dead, but is actually blooming. A lot of Specter Phacelia along the hike too.


Hike details here


Chaparral Dodder, Cuscuta californica var. papillosa Anza Borrego by Fred Melgert

Chaparral Dodder, Cuscuta californica var. papillosa by Fred Melgert

Specter Phacelia Phacelia pedicellata anza borrego by fred melgert

Specter Phacelia Phacelia pedicellata by Fred Melgert

Purple Mat, Nama demissum var. demissum fred melgert

Purple Mat, Nama demissum var. demissum by Fred Melgert

March 10, 2014

Report from Bittercreek by Fred and Carla. Plenty of Apricot Mallow in the creek, some lonely Pincushion. Huge Common Sow-Thistle, nice blooming Tamarix. Red brome is pretty, except when you get them in you hiking boots, real nasty stuff. Salt Marsh Sand Spurrey is blooming for weeks now, but only later in the day. Even some Wallace's woolly daisy's close to the saddle, probably got some more water from mist? Normally you see plenty of them in this area, now only a few of them. Bittercreek is one of our favorite places to hike. After the 2012 fire the canyon is easily accessible. A good change to make a loop along the Pacific Crest trail, with some great views. Bittercreek is also one of the few places with flowers this season. 


Hiking details here

Engelmann's hedgehog cactus, Echinocereus engelmannii Fred Melgert

Engelmann's hedgehog cactus, Echinocereus engelmannii Fred Melgert

Salt Marsh Sand Spurrey  382014, Spergularia marina 

Salt Marsh Sand Spurrey, Spergularia marina Fred Melgert

California groundsel, Senecio californicus anza borrego fred melgert

California groundsel, Senecio californicus Fred Melgert

Rabbitsfoot Grass, Polypogon monspeliensis anza borrego fred melgert

Rabbitsfoot Grass, Polypogon monspeliensis Fred Melgert

Wishbone Plant, Mirabilis laevis var. retrorsa anza borrego fred melgert

Wishbone Plant, Mirabilis laevis var. retrorsa Fred Melgert


March 8, 2014

Sombrero Peak.   Fred and Carla found just a few flowers on this hike. The only water, or indication of it, was found on the peak, in the box to register, someone put it upside down, so it was half filled with water. This indicates recent water and a lot of it, I guess 4 inches. Fred We came well prepared for the climb up to Sombrero Peak after reading stories of a very difficult hike. The road into the South fork of Indian valley, was much better than expected, so we arrived at the end of the road real quick. We started with the most difficult part of the hike, straight up the canyon wall. After 2 hours we arrived at the peak, a bunch of large boulders. A bit hard to determine what's the actual peak. As Carla already told me, peaks are nicer from afar. The Sombrero peak is highly recognizable, but only from a distance and at the right angle. Spotting the palm below us on the way down and as we where way ahead of schedule, we decided to go down. Down is rather steep and with plenty of small boulders. The oasis is in bad shape, a lot of dead palms. Getting at the palms was difficult, getting out and back turned out even more of a challenge. Beware: This isn't a hike for the casual hiker, there is no trail. You need some experience in these boulder rich mountains.



Hike details here

Sapphire Woollystar, Eriastrum sapphirinum Fred Melgert

Parry's Bear-Grass, Nolina parryi anza borrego fred melgert

Parry's Bear-Grass, Nolina parryi Fred Melgert

Sombrero Peak Anza Borrego by Carla Haegen

Sombrero Peak  Fred, at the top.  Photo by Carla Hoegen



March 4, 2014

A great hikeup the east fork of Pincyon wash today by Fred and Carla, then back around Harper Flat and down the main Pinyon Wash. Blooming: Indigo Bush, Chuparosa, red, orange, and yello, as well as Spiny Senna, and White Sage.  The Creosote is really colorful as well.


Hiking details here


White Sage, Salvia apiana

White Sage, Salvia apiana Fred Melgert

Spiny Senna, Senna Armata

Spiny Senna, Senna Armata Fred Melgert


March 3, 2014  

Fred and Carla send a report from Travertine Palms, a small oasis in the northeast corner of the park.  The wash is very dry but Palo Verde are blooming, and lots of trailing windmills. 


Hiking details here


California fan palms, washingtonia filifera

California fan palms, washingtonia filifera Fred Melgert


Desert Thorn-Apple, Datura discolor

Desert Thorn-Apple, Datura discolor Fred Melgert


Cheesebush, Hymenoclea salsola var. salsola Fred Melgert


February 27, 2014  

Fred and Carla send today's report from the Lute Fault Scarp. Fred says this is a pushed up hill of sand and gravel, supposed to be the largest of its kind in the Northern part of the continent. It's also a nice hike, in the sand dunes, rattlesnake canyon wash and back over the ridge. The sand is an ideal place for  tunnels, so watch your steps. Palo Verde are starting to bloom, even as some look almost dead.


Hiking details here


blue palo verde, Parkinsonia florida

blue palo verde, Parkinsonia florida Fred Melgert

Parish's Gold Poppy, Eschscholzia parishii

Parish's Gold Poppy, Eschscholzia parishii Fred Melgert


February 24, 2014  

Today's hike by Fred and Carla starts on the east side of Granite Mountain, in Cool Canyon.   They say this is an interesting canyon, easy to hike with some small dry falls. As the canyon ends at a vertical dry fall, head South out of the canyon toward the ridge/saddle. Go around the South side of the first peak and head for the second peak. Follow the ridge, all the way up to the main peak. The last stretch is the most difficult as the peak is mostly a pile of boulders. Along the way we found interesting plants, including some rare and one we've never seen before. Unfortunately the rare one is close to the peak, so it's a long way back to see if it's starting to bloom.

Hike details here

Silver Birds Foot Trefoil, Acmispon argophyllus var. argophyllus

Silver Birds Foot Trefoil, Acmispon argophyllus var. argophyllus Fred Melgert

Poodle-dog Bush, Eriodictyon parryi

Poodle-dog Bush, Eriodictyon parryi Fred Melgert

Prickly Poppy, Argemone munita

Prickly Poppy, Argemone munita Fred Melgert

Parry's Nolina, Nolina parryi

Parry's Nolina, Nolina parryi Fred Melgert


February 21, 2014  

From Fred and Carla, report from Coyote Canyon:


We read reports of hardly any flowers in Coyote canyon. But while driving up along first crossing, Carla detected a number of them. So arriving at third crossing we changed our plans and hiked along Coyote creek. Of course it's best to start at first or second crossing and head up or down stream. Most of the flowers are between second and third crossing. The road has never been better and of course up to first crossing is especially easy. The only obstacle is some soft sand. There are no flower beds, but still a great variety of flowers, It's been a while that we've seen Western Jimson Weed this big. False Monkeyflower with tiny flowers, this is one of the few places in the park where you can find them. A less pleasant note, insects with a nasty bite. And don't forget to bring waterproof shoes.

Hike details here

Western Jimson Weed, Datura wrightii

Western Jimson Weed, Datura wrightii Fred Melgert

Hairy Sun Cups, Camissoniopsis hirtella

Hairy Sun Cups, Camissoniopsis hirtella Fred Melgert

False Monkeyflower, Mimulus pilosus

False Monkeyflower, Mimulus pilosus Fred Melgert

Arrow Weed, Pluchea sericea

Arrow Weed, Pluchea sericea Fred Melgert

Desert Plantain, Plantago ovata

Desert Plantain, Plantago ovata Fred Melgert

Heart-leaved Primrose, Camissonia cardiophylla

Heart-leaved Primrose, Camissonia cardiophylla Fred Melgert


February 19, 2014  

From Fred and Carla, June Wash:

The June wash was easy to drive in 2014, some soft sand at the start, but I don't think you need AWD, but don't blame me if you get stuck!  An easy hike except for the short scramble up to the ridge. Keep in the east fork and drive up to the end. Keep hiking east and you end up in a fork of the Arroyo Tapiado and eventually in the main wash with the road. But if you keep going that way you will end up miles and miles from your car. So cross over to the Arroyo Hueso. Great canyons with steep walls you see all over this area. After just under a mile we headed North West back toward the June wash. Flowers: Many: Spanish Needles, woody-asters (the best so far). Some: Indigo bush, Emory's indigo-bush, Ocotillo and Tamarisk, indicating water. Another Broom-Rape, it's blooming time for them. They are real easy to miss, blending in with the sand.

Hike details here

Pima Rhatany, Krameria erecta

Pima Rhatany, Krameria erecta Fred Melgert

Tamarisk, Tamarix ramosissima

Tamarisk, Tamarix ramosissima Fred Melgert

Broom-Rape, Orobanche cooperi

Broom-Rape, Orobanche cooperi Fred Melgert

Emory's indigo-bush, Psorothamnus emoryi

Emory's indigo-bush, Psorothamnus emoryi Fred Melgert


February 18, 2014  

Fred and Carla hiked to Whale Peak today.  They say they did not take the easiest way up to the peak, but their routhe was interesting, if you are not afaid of rocks and boulders.  Fred says that flowers were scarce, but as always they provide some wonderful pictures!  They also say they encountered a traffic jam in the park, driving back from parking on the dirt road.  It was a busy Presidents weekend.

Hike details here

California buckwheat, Eriogonum fasciculatum

California buckwheat, Eriogonum fasciculatum Fred Melgert

Desert lotus, Acmispon rigidus

Desert lotus, Acmispon rigidus Fred Melgert

Narrowleaf Goldenbush, Ericameria linearifolia

Narrowleaf Goldenbush, Ericameria linearifolia Fred Melgert



February 13, 2014  

Fred and Carla hiked Bisnaga was and they say "This is what I think a desert should look like."  It is an easy stroll, hike for about 30 minutes, go over to the other side of the wash and then hike back.  Blooming right now:

Cheesebush in two colors, Chuparosa in red, orange, and yellow, along with barrel and fish-hook cactus.  Finally, after years of searching they have also found Newberry's velvet mallow.  Watch  out for all the cholla though!


Hiking details here 

Newberry's velvet mallow, Horsfordia newberryi

Newberry's velvet mallow, Horsfordia newberryi Fred Melgert

Yellow Chuparosa, Justicia californica

Yellow Chuparosa, Justicia californica Fred Melgert

White-stemmed blazing star, Mentzelia albicaulis

White-stemmed blazing star, Mentzelia albicaulis Fred Melgert

Cheesebush, Ambrosia salsola var. salsola

Cheesebush, Ambrosia salsola var. salsola Fred Meglert

California Barrel Cactus, Ferocactus cylindraceus

California Barrel Cactus, Ferocactus cylindraceus Fred Melgert

February 12, 2014  

Marcy Yates sends a report from a hike in South Palm Wash.  She sends photos of a giant milkweed spotted along the way but reports there are not many other flowers there, other than a few Desert Trumpets with their very small flowers.

Giant Milkweed

Giant Milkweed Asclepias sublata apocynaceae Marcy Yates

Milkweed Asclepias sublata apocynaceae Marcy Yates

February 12, 2014  

Fred and Carla send a report from Eagle Rock, which they describe as a hike among friendly cows, along a popular section of the Pacific Crest Trail.  Carla is puzzled by the birchbark mahogony which should bloom much later, and this one is already in fruit.


Hike details are here


Birch-leaf Mountain Mahogany, Cercocarpus betuloides var. betuloides, Fruit

Birch-leaf Mountain Mahogany, Cercocarpus betuloides var. betuloides, Fruit  Fred Melgert

Wild Cucumber, Marah macrocarpus var. macrocarpus

Wild Cucumber, Marah macrocarpus var. macrocarpus Fred Melgert


February 9, 2014  

Report from Bill Sullivan

What some people look forward to as the first day of spring wildflower season in Anza-Borrego is now less than a week away. Early reports indicate that the 2014 season won't measure up to good seasons in past years. So today I decided to drive to Ocotillo, and come up County Road S-2 to Scissors Crossing to see what I could see in the way of early bloomers, as close to the road as possible.  


I exited Interstate-8 at Highway 98 where I was greeted by a few flowering Brittlebush and Creosote. I stopped to look around, and also found a California Fagonia (but just one) and noticed two Chuparosa plants with nice red flowers in a wash. The Brittlebush and Creosote apparently had been flowering for several days. The flowers appeared weather-beaten, and were small, a sign of lack of water, so nice but not spectacular. I looked around for signs of spring annuals, real wildflowers and not just the flowers on shrubs and trees, but I saw nothing.  


My next stop was a few miles east on Highway 98 at a road called Coyote One. It is just south of a tall microwave tower beside a road to the Yuha Basin. Running south from Highway 98 at the Coyote One road is a ditch which, though dry now, always seems to support several nice flowers. I was pleased to notice two nice new Prickly Poppy (Argemone munita) plants in flower and quite a bit of small-flowered Apricot Mallow. Last year the Prickly Poppy covered several acres of ground west of the Crucifixion Thorn reserve east of here another mile, so I drove down to take a look. I didn't find much Prickly Poppy in flower, but I did find sufficient numbers sprouting out of the ground to tell me this could be another good year for this plant here. As for other plants, I could not say, but the Crucifixion Thorn (Castela emoryi) was looking good. .


Then it was on to Anza-Borrego where things became progressively flowerless, at least beside the road. The highlight was at the Volcanic Hills where I stopped to look at the Pygmy Cedar (Peucephyllum schottii) -- it wasn't in flower but I love the green color -- and I came across an Oncerometopus nigriclavus (just call it a red Plant Bug) enjoying some Milkweed.


Argemone munita Bill Sullivan



Peucephyllum_schottii  Bill Sullivan


Oncerometopus-nigriclavus  Bill Sullivan


Castela emoryi  Bill Sullivan



February 7. 2014

Fred and Carla revisited Grapevine Peak today, the first time since the 2012 fire.  The return in Bitter Creek was a lot easier this time; no more nasty cat claw and other nasty scrubs.  Flowers are scarce, but still a good variety.

The hike up Grapevine Peak is one of the easiest around, they say. 


Fred says: "This time around we didn't repeat the previous mistakes, going up high after the saddle. Going up along the wash was pretty easy and there where some pretty flowers up there. First you get a rocky peak and close by is the more shallow real peak. .Looking down towards Bitter Creek, a very steep drop indeed. So keep on going south, following the ridge down. It still goes down rather steep, but the sand keeps it almost easy. This is where we found our first blooming barrel cactus for this year.  Some small falls and there is still some water in the creek. More a salty seep than a spring. You see hundreds of Saltmarsh sand-spurry. The actual spring is further down. There is a white bathtub that used to be connected to the pipes. You can easily spot the spring by looking for a palm tree up to the right (east). The Cottonwood Tree that used to be there is gone, only the trunk remains."


Hike details are here


Purple mat, Nama demissum var. demissum

Purple mat, Nama demissum var. demissum Fred Melgert 

Saltmarsh Sand-spurry, Spergularia marina

Saltmarsh Sand-spurry, Spergularia marina Fred Melgert

Red-Stem Filaree, Erodium cicutarium

Red-Stem Filaree, Erodium cicutarium Fred Melgert

Desert Agave, Agave deserti

Desert Agave, Agave deserti Fred Melgert

February 6,  2014

Fred and Carla find flowers again way, this time above Big Spring in the steeper boulder rich canyon. There is Red brome in Culp valley and the Coyote Melon that are plentiful out here. Thousands of Whispering Bells in the boulders, but only a few opening up their flowers. Golden yarrow is plentiful and it seems to be paintbrush time. Desert apricot, are starting to bloom, but only a couple of them. One Indian Valley bush mallow was spotted near the spring, that was almost white, not a common sight. In the Big Spring, there is plenty of streaming water, but hardly anything blooming. But you find Indian Valley Bush Mallow and the tiny Star gilia. A warning, the canyon is rather steep, so not suited for a casual hike.


Hike details here

Golden yarrow, Eriophyllum confertiflorum var. confertiflorum

Golden yarrow, Eriophyllum confertiflorum var. confertiflorum Fred Melgert

Star gilia, Gilia stellata

Star gilia, Gilia stellata Fred Melgert

Bishop's Lotus, Acmispon strigosus

Bishop's Lotus, Acmispon strigosus Fred Melgert

Red brome, Bromus madritensis ssp. rubens

Red brome, Bromus madritensis ssp. rubens Fred Melget

February 7. 2014

Fred and Carla send todays report from Arroyo Salado, hiking in the north and main fork, looping around and following many washes.  Only some Asters struggling to bloom were found there, just a few.  Conditions are very dry. We do have the following photo, which is certainly a keeper.

Hike details are here


 Orcutt's Woody Aster  Xylorhiza orcuttii

Orcutt's Woody Aster  Xylorhiza orcuttii Fred Melgert

February 6. 2014

A loop in Grapevine Canyon, on the north side, kept Fred and Carla busy today.  They are on a quest to hike as many canyons as possible and, between last year and this year, they have covered an impressive number of locations in Anza-Borrego and beyond.  Click here to take a look at the ground they have covered, all with map details, directions, GPS, photos, and even videos.


Hike details are here.


Carla - in a scene from today's hike  Fred Melgert

Beetle Spurge, Euporbia eriantha

 Beetle Spurge, Euporbia eriantha Fred Melgert

February 5. 2014

Some nice flowers found at Blue Spring, according to Fred and Carla.  Among the ones found:  Bush Milkvetch, Astragalus pachypus var. pachypus and Cleveland's Beardtongue, Penstemon clevelandii var. Clevelandii likes rocks and you find them in hard to get places, Fred says; he had just room to get the picture. Then it was on to Blue Spring and it's great sandstone pillars and holes. This time they report that they found a better route to get over the saddle, making the hike more pleasant. It still is one of their longer hikes, they say, but one of the best. Fred says they found some new flowers that made Carla go the extra mile!  Also the desert apricot and desert mistletoe are starting to bloom.

Hike details are here

Cleveland's Beardtongue,  Penstemon clevelandii var. clevelandii

Cleveland's Beardtongue,  Penstemon clevelandii var. clevelandii Fred Melgert

Desert-Apricot, Prunus fremontii

Desert-Apricot, Prunus fremontii Fred Melgert

Bladderpod, Isomeris arborea

Bladderpod, Isomeris arborea Fred Melgert

Bush Milkvetch, Astragalus pachypus var. pachypus

Bush Milkvetch, Astragalus pachypus var. pachypus Fred Melgert

January 31, 2014

Today's report from Fred and Carla comes from Big Spring....


Most of the flowers we found closer to the Big Spring. Still plenty of streaming water in the creek. It is closer to home. This is the third time we visited Big Spring; this time we hiked the lower canyon down to Middle Spring. This is a canyon with a creek, narrow and steep. Expect a lot of steep terrain, so be careful, check all options before proceeding. Watch for wild cucumber, they look like vines and have a strong smell. They can fill a large area with flowers.

Hike details are here

Thick-Leaf Desert Mallow, Sphaeralcea ambigua var. rugosa

Thick-Leaf Desert Mallow, Sphaeralcea ambigua var. rugosa Fred Melgert

Wild Cucumber, Marah macrocarpus var. macrocarpus

Wild Cucumber, Marah macrocarpus var. macrocarpus Fred Melgert

white fiesta flower, Pholistoma membranaceum

White fiesta flower, Pholistoma membranaceum Fred Melgert

January 28, 2014

Fred and Carla sent this report:

We hiked the Smuggler canyon before, but higher up. There it's very steep and filled with boulders. This lower part is a lot better to hike. The canyon walls are just high enough to provide some shade for the flowers. The wash looks dry and dead, but not so, it's filed with insects on the Lavender and Chuparosa. Both are looking healthy and we haven't seen any Chuparosa this good, in a couple of months. The first part, up the Smuggler Canon Wash, is very easy on a sandy wash. It takes about one hour until you reach some small boulders. 


Hike details are here and some flower photos from this trip follow:


Chuparosa, Justicia californica

Chuparosa, Justicia californica Fred Melgert

California Fagonia, Fagonia laevis

California Fagonia, Fagonia laevis Fred Melgert

Desert Tobacco, Nicotiana obtusifolia

Desert Tobacco, Nicotiana obtusifolia Fred Melgert

January 24, 2014

Pinyon Springs Forks.  Another try to find some flowers by Fred and Carla.


A loop in a couple of steep washes, just below and up to the Wilson Trail. A scenic hike with some challenging parts. And still flowers after almost 2 months without any rain. Wild Canterbury Bells at every boulder. The Parish's Golden-Eyes where the best we've see so far. Chia are so big you hardly recognize them. And the Bush Monkey flower (yellow).



Parish's purple nightshade, Solanum parishii

Parish's purple nightshade, Solanum parishii Fred Melgert


California Primrose, Camissonia californica

California Primrose, Camissonia californica Fred Melgert


Bush Monkey Flower, Mimulus aurantiacus

Bush Monkey Flower, Mimulus aurantiacus Fred Melgert

January 23, 2014

Fred and Carla sent the following photos today from the Pacific Crest Loop, mile 14.3



Wild Canterbury Bells, Phacelia minor

Wild Canterbury Bells, Phacelia minor Fred Melgert

Cryptantha, Cryptantha species

Cryptantha, Cryptantha species Fred Melgert

Thick-Leaved Ground-Cherry, Physalis crassifolia

Thick-Leaved Ground-Cherry, Physalis crassifolia Fred Melgert

January 23, 2014

It has been a long time since we heard from Bill Sullivan.  Yesterday he send us the following report:


I finally got back to the realigned First Crossing of Coyote Creek today, with all of its repositioned creek water and sand. Note how the lower part of the First Crossing sign is buried in new sand.

First Crossing Coyote Creek

In past years, water to First Crossing was either shallow or non-existent. Today, the water meanders well south of the jeep trail.

water in first crossing coyote creek

Overall, the Borrego Valley where the creek flows look depressingly dry. Overall, the outlook for spring wildflowers is not good. A great exception extends about ten yards south of the point where theCoyote Canyon jeep road crosses the re-aligned creek. The plants here show what water can do. Before showing you the pictures, I should say that for most people I would consider the drive here to be 4WD only. I myself parked at Desert Gardens and walked the rest of the way, about a quarter of a mile,which is hardly strenuous. I am sure I saw more flowers by walking than I would have by driving.   Before I reached the water of the creek, I saw a large Cheesebush shrub, Ambrosia salsola var. salsola, in flower in the dry creek bed. The only bad news is that Cheesebush has some of the smallest and least-noticed flowers in the desert. It's the fruit, which appears later, that gets noticed. Here's the itty-bitty flowers:

Ambrosia sisola var. salsola


I also was impressed with the size and color of a Sandpaper Plant, Petalonyx thurberi, which is one of our few plants to flower in summer. What was it doing looking so good in January? The flowers are not show-stoppers.

The stars of the show were the Emory's Rock Daisy, Perityle emoryi(an Asteraceae), plants beside the creek, upwards of four feet tall, with hundreds of white flowers with yellow disk flowers in the center ...


I also noticed this Arizona lupine plant ...

arizona lupine

and a rather mature Phacelia distans, each the only one of its kind ...

I also noticed a few, just a very few very large and healthy,Camissonia claviformis ssp. peirsonii plants (I think the NatureCenter people call it Brown-eyed Primrose, but Peirson's Browneyes would be better) and Dithyrea californica (Spectacle Pod), one of the good flowers  of the Mustard family. This is usually one of the first to flower in Spring. The photo below shows the  little green spectacle seed pods. They appear in pairs, like spectacles.

In the photo below, Camissonia can be seen on the left with the Dithyrea on the right..

Also along the way, I noticed several Psorothamnus emoryi, Dyeweed, with smallish flowers. Many of the plants were half buried in new sand. Down by the citrus groves, maybe 100 yards north of the DiGiorgio Road blacktop, I drove past a tobacco plant, Nicotiana, and I am sorry I didn't get the species (there are two or three in the desert) and I didn't take a picture.


January 19, 2014

Fred and Carla found the Culp Valley a good place for flowers mostly out of the wash.  They say...

 "Flowers are mostly found in higher elevations right now, where this hike goes. The hike starts in Culp Valley close to the asphalt.  A not too difficult hike completely off the beaten track. We expected some flowers this high up and because of the recent fire. Seeing some on the Wilson trail, that's close by.

We had to deviate slightly from the planned route, as we hit a really steep drop, with huge boulders. But the detour we found was surprisingly easy and brought us back on the route we planned to take."

Hike Details on Wikiloc

Woolly Indian Paintbrush, Castilleja foliolosa

Woolly Indian Paintbrush, Castilleja foliolosa by Fred Melgert

Red gland spurge,Chamaesyce melanadenia

Red gland spurge,Chamaesyce melanadenia by Fred Melgert

Yellow Bush Penstemon, Keckiella antirrhinoides

Yellow Bush Penstemon, Keckiella antirrhinoides by Fred Melgert

Coyote Melon, Cucurbita palmata

Coyote Melon, Cucurbita palmata by Fred Melgert


January 18, 2014

Arroyo Seco del Diablo in the southern part of Anza-Borrego.   Flowers to be found, even in this very dry time.

Fred and Carla explored this stunning deep and narrow canyon, with slots in many of the forks.  They report that the best route is to exit Palm Spring and drive Vallecito Wash.  They say that the Great overland route looks good on the map but there is deep sand in one section and they barely made it through with AWD.


Flat topped buckwheat, Eriogonum deflexum var. deflexum

Flat topped buckwheat, Eriogonum deflexum var. deflexum by Fred Melgert

Narrow-Leaf Cryptantha, Cryptantha angustifolia

Narrow-Leaf Cryptantha, Cryptantha angustifolia by Fred Melgert


January 17, 2014

Fred and Carla report that even in this dry period there are flowers to be found. Their most recent report is fromThe Wilson trail, an easy hike on a faint dirt road. Take the Jasper trail and turn left on the four way crossing into (old) Culp Valley road and park at the Wilson trail (all signed). The road was good in 2014 and suitable for cars with some ground clearance.


yellow pincushion anza-borrego melgert

Yellow pincushion, Chaenactis glabriuscula var. glabriuscula Fred Melgert

Veatch's blazing star, Mentzelia veatchiana

Veatch's blazing star, Mentzelia veatchiana Fred Melgert

Indian Valley bush mallow, Malacothamnus aboriginum

Indian Valley bush mallow, Malacothamnus aboriginum Fred Melgert


January 14, 2014

Fred and Carla report "a boulder rich hike" around Ghost mountain. The morteros are normally as short as hikes go. We made the hike a bit longer, into the canyon with plenty of boulders and back along the west side of Ghost mountain. Ghost mountain is filled with fish hook cacti. A couple of them are the first blooming cacti this year. Only recommended for experienced hikers.



Fish-hook Cactus, Mammillaria dioica

Fish-hook Cactus, Mammillaria dioica Fred Melgert



Heart-leaved Primrose, Camissonia cardiophylla

Heart-leaved Primrose, Camissonia cardiophylla Fred Melgert

January 5, 2014

Glorietta Canyon revisited.  By Fred and Carla.  Glorietta is one of the most beautiful locations in Anza-Borrego, and so close to Borrego Springs that it often gets overlooked.  On this latest trip they report seeing Rock Crossosoma, plentiful Spiny Senna, plenty of Brittlebrush, and some great shots of Indigo Bush.


Rock Crossosoma, Crossosoma bigelovii

Rock Crossosoma, Crossosoma bigelovii Fred Melgert

Indigo Bush, Psorothamnus schottii

Indigo Bush, Psorothamnus schottii by Fred Melgert

December 31, 2013

The last hike of the year for Fred and Carla took them to Fish Creek.  They say the driving is slow, once past the wind caves, lots of sand and rocks, close to the limit of their Subaru.  A 40 minutes one-way drive from the asphalt.  They saw some bighorn sheep along the way, the second time this week for them, having seen sheep in the upper part of Moonlight Canyon a couple of days earlier.  The hike, they say, is for the more adventurous, and a hiking stick is recommended.


The photos from two flowers they had not seen before are shown below.

broom rape anza-borrego melgert

Broom-Rape, Orobanche cooperi Melgert

desert plaintain anza borrego melgert

Desert Plantain, Plantago ovata Melgert


December 30, 2013

The upper part of Moonlight Canyon, to the Inner Pastures, was today's destination for Fred and Carla.  Very few people hike the Moonlight Pass, and althought they saw some hikes at the start there was little sign of hikers near the top.  There are some spectacular granite falls along the way, but they say that they look more difficult than they are.  On the return trip they encountered eight sheep.  Some photos follow. 


desert lotus anza borrego melgert

Desert lotus, Acmispon rigidus Melgert

Queen Butterfly  Melgert

bighorn sheep anza-borrego melgert

Bighorn Sheep seen on their return trip  Fred Melgert


December 29, 2013

Mine Wash was the destination that Fred and Carla chose today.  They drove to the end of the road and hiked from there.  And they continue to find flowers wherever they go.  Fred says it was a really nice hike and adds that Dog weed is hard to forget; when you come home you can still smell it.



And some photos:

palmers locoweed anza-borrego melgert

Palmer's Locoweed, Astragalus palmeri Fred Melgert

Piersons brown eyed evening primrose melgert

Peirson's Brown-eyed Evening Primrose, Camissonia claviformis ssp. peirsonii Fred Melgert

San Felipe Dogweed, Adenophyllum porophylloides Fred Melgert

December 26, 2013

Fred and Carla sent some photos today from yesterday's hike into Hornblende Canyon.  Hornblende is a beautiful little canyon, with some nice dry waterfalls, old mining sites, and morteros at the upper end.  Fred and Carla will be leading a hike there on February 25.  Details will be posted in the next edition of ABDNHA's Sand Paper newsletter.



california primrose anza-borrego melgert

California primrose, Camissonia californica Fred Melgert

sow thistle anza-borrego melgert

Sow-Thistle, Sonchus oleraceus Fred Megert

desert mistletoe anza-borrego melgert

Desert Mistletoe, Phoradendron californicum Fred Melgert


December 18, 2013

Fred and Carla send a report from Oriflamme Canyon.  Just a few days from Chrismas but there are flowers to report.  They say that the road in is a little rough and high clearance is a must. 




Fremont cottonwood, western sycamore, willow

Fremont cottonwood, Western Sycamore, Willow - Oriflame Canyon Fred Melgert


sugar bush anza-borrego melgert

Sugar Bush, Rhus ovata Fred Melgert

wire-lettuce, Stephanomeria pauciflora anza-borrego melgert

Wire-lettuce, Stephanomeria pauciflora Fred Melgert

short-winged deerweed, Lotus scoparius oriflame canyon anza-borrego melgert

Short-winged deerweed, Lotus scoparius  Fred Melgert

Chaparral Nightshade, Solanum xanti Fred Melgert


December 5, 2013

Today's hike started just before third crossing in Coyote Canyon, part of Box canyon, a fork of the Box canyon that leads in to Coyote canyon and back toward the lower willows.

What you can find right now are sand verbena's, rabbit bush and very early smoke trees blooming.

You can see the result of the August rain; a huge deposit of sand from Box canyon into the lower willows.
The smoke trees were a unexpected surprise.

On the return, towards the lower willows, the wash was almost unrecognizable.
And the hike was more like a bush walk crossing the willows, the trail runs completely different from last year.
Watch out for very deep holes.

The road up to third crossing is very good this year.  Fred & Carla


smoke tree anza borrego melgert

Smoke Tree, Psorothamnus spinosus Fred Melgert

sand verbena anza borrego melgert

Desert Sand Verbena, Abronia villosa Fred Melgert

wishbone plant anza borrego melgert

Wishbone Plant, Mirabilis laevis Fred Melgert

mule fat anza borrego melgert

Mule Fat also known as Seep Willow, Baccharis salicifolia Fred Melgert


December 4, 2013

Marcy reports very nice Chuparosa blooming along the Narrows Earth Trail.


Chuparosa Marcy Yates



December 3, 2013

We took an easy hike today to Big Springs, just 1.7 miles in length.  The area burned in 2012 so don't wear your best clothes!  You can still see the actual spring; before too long it will all grow back and you will not be able to reach it so easily. 

Today we saw Parish's Golden-Eyes, Desert Mallow, Rose Desert Mallow, Wedgeleaf Draba,  White Nightshade, Boundary Goldenbush, and Western Jimson Weed. The combination of fire and rain have made this a good place for flowers this time of year.

The Rose Desert Mallow may be more rare in the park, at least we haven't seen it yet before this. I personally like the Wild Cucumber even as they are 1/2 year old. Western Jimson Weed, seen mostly white, this one over here is more colorful.  Fred & Carla


parish's golden eyes anza borrego fred melgert

Parish's Golden-Eyes Viguiera parishii Fred Melgert

rose desert mallow anza borrego fred melgert

Rose Desert Mallow Sphaeralcea ambigua var. rosacea Fred Melgert

white nightshade anza borrego fred melgert

White Nightshade Solanum douglasii Fred Melgert

wild cucumber old fruits anza borrego fred melgert

Wild Cucumber - dried fruits  Marah macrocarpus Fred Melgert

November 27, 2013

Today we hiked Oyster wash and took a wash to the right.  We found that wash last year by accident.  Next we hiked over the saddle and along the cliff of Fish wash.  Steep with very nice views.  Really nice flowers for this time of year.  View Map on wikiloc

california fagonia

California Fagonia  Fagonia laevis Fred Melgert

climbing milkweed

Climbing Milkweed  Sarcostemma cynanchoides Fred Melgert

trailing windmills

Trailing Windmills  Allonia incarnata Fred Melgert

desert hibiscus

Desert Hibiscus  Hibiscus denudatus Fred Melgert

November 26, 2013

Today we hiked two forks of Plum Canyon as a loop.  View map on wikiloc.  The hike was great and the flowers were better than expected.  Some pictures follow:

wire lettuce

Wire Lettuce stephanomeria pauciflora Fred Melgert 

Ground Cherry  Physalis crassifolia Fred Melgert

desert trumpet melgert

Desert Trumpet Erigonum inflatum Fred Melgert


November 24, 2013

Today we hiked a hike that we had taken in March of this year, from Highway S2, at mile 15.
It was a beautiful hike with a surprisingly amount of wildflowers. There were even 2 desert agaves in bloom. Some photos follow...


Rattlesnake Spurge  Fred Melgert


Filaree Fred Melgert


Amaranth  Fred Melgert


interior golden bush anza-borrego fred melgert

California match-weed, Gutierrezia californica Fred Melgert


November 23, 2013

On Saturday we found several nice clumps of California fuchsia in bloom along the trail to the little waterfall in Cougar Canyon. Verbena was blooming along the road in Coyote Canyon, along with one very healthy Rock Hibiscus in flower. Beautiful clumps of Rock Daisies were starting to bloom above the Third Crossing in Coyote Canyon. Even the foliage of the Rock Daisies was gorgeous -- lush and luminous green!

california fuchsia by marcy yates

California Fuchsia Marcy Yates

rock daisy foliage by Marci Yates

Rock Daisy Foliage  Marcy Yates


November 12, 2013

Today's hike in Little Surprise Canyon yielded some wildflower surprises. We saw Desert Rock Daisies blooming in the trail, along the trail and up the hillsides. It looked like they were just starting to bloom with lots of buds yet to open. Trailing Windmills were also much in evidence, with only one Yellow Ground Cherry spotted and only one Chuparosa starting to bloom. Some Desert Lavender bushes were still blooming.Today's hike in Little Surprise Canyon yielded some wildflower surprises. We saw Desert Rock Daisies blooming in the trail, along the trail and up the hillsides. It looked like they were just starting to bloom with lots of buds yet to open. Trailing Windmills were also much in evidence, with only one Yellow Ground Cherry spotted and only one Chuparosa starting to bloom. Some Desert Lavender bushes were still blooming.

We saw the most flowers in the right branch of the canyon, although there were some nice clumps of pale lavender flowers on our way out of the left branch.  - Marcy

rock daisy anza-borrego marci yates

Rock Daisy - Marcy Yates


Stephanomeria pauciflora - Marcy Yates

trailing windmills anza-borrego marcy yates

Trailing Windmills - Marcy Yates

ground cherry anza-borrego marcy yates

Ground Cherry - Marcy Yates 

September 29, 2013

We went to Glorietta Canyon today.  The flood of August 25 made major changes to the roadway.  It used to be a roadway suitable for two wheel drive cars,  but a large section of that road has been completely obiterated and replaced by a very wide and very sandy wash.  The wash continues all the way down to Borrego Springs Road, where it interects the highway just south of San Pablo Road.  Lots of tire tracks indicate that many vehicles are now getting to Glorietta via that wash instead of the old route.

Here are some flowers we saw along the way.

rock hibiscus

Desert Hibiscus


desert senna

Desert Senna




September 6, 2013

Not seen nearly as often as the more common Fishook cactus , these nice Yaqui Fishook ( Mammillaria tetrancista) were spotted on a rocky hillside in the Blair Valley following the heavy rainfall.





April 26, 2013

An interesting mix of flowers was found on a 4/26 hike up Plum Canyon. We saw Snake eyes, Dudleya, White sage, Buckwheat, Sweetbush, Desert Lavender, Chuparosa, and Desert trumpet.

Cactus blossoms were well represented with Gander cholla, prickly pear, hedgehog, beavertail and barrel cactus in bloom. - Marcy Yates

Photo by Marcy Yates


Dudleya - Photo by Marcy Yates


April 21, 2013

A nice Desert Willow bloom was starting along the Borrego Palm Canyon trail. We also found a few yellow monkey flowers in and along the stream leading out of the oasis. Desert lavender is still blooming well in the drier areas of the trail.

Only a very few brittlebush and chuparosa flowers lingered. - Marcy


Desert Willow - Photo by Marcy Yates


April 15, 2013

While many flowers have faded or blown away recently, there are still blooms to be found if you go looking. The Honey Mesquite is in bloom near Tamarisk Grove. Between there and Mine Wash is a sea of red Ocotillo flowers, plus quite a few agave flower spikes. Most of the agave do not yet have flowers open.

At the Mine Wash village site, ocotillo, desert lavender, chuparosa, and various cactus (beavertail, prickly pear, cholla) are in bloom here and there, with agave flower spikes visible in the distance.  - Marcy Yates

Desert Lavender Photo by Marcy Yates