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March 30, 2009 / Greg Vaughn

Joshua Tree National Park

Indian Paintbrush at Jumbo Rocks, Joshua Tree National Park

Indian Paintbrush at Jumbo Rocks, Joshua Tree National Park, California

I spent a few days last week hiking and doing photography at Joshua Tree National Park in southern California. It’s a fascinating place with some very interesting geology and ecosystems. Those not familiar with the area tend to think of the southwest deserts as hot, but the upper areas of Joshua Tree, part of the huge expanse of the Mojave Desert, are at 3000+ feet in elevation, and temperatures are quite cool in winter and spring.

It’s much warmer in the lower parts of the park, and there are a great many wildflowers blooming now in the southern half, which is part of the Colorado Desert ecosystem. This photo was taken at the area called Jumbo Rocks at about mid-elevation in the park, where the bloom is just starting to happen.

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