Desert wildflowers, Anza Borrego Desert State Park, California.
This was last night – things are looking good! With much cooler temperatures in the weekend forecast, along with clouds and rain, the wildflowers could be looking good for the next week or two, with the cactus blooms lasting longer. Unfortunately, wind is also in the forecast, that won’t help. So where are the best wildflowers?
This image is near the east end of Henderson Canyon Road – this area is looking very nice, with lots of desert gold still emerging, along with plenty of verbena, primrose and even desert lilies. Plus, I didn’t see any caterpillars.
All along the mountains to the west of Borrego Springs seem to be the other best area. You will find a wide variety of wildflowers, including lots of blooming cactus, and this is really early for them!
Some areas that are good include Henderson Canyon. Take Henderson Road to the West until it ends at the junction with Borrego Springs Road. Then you can take a dirt road for another half mile or so to the west. Lots of variety up there including blooming ocotillo, barrel and beaver-tail cactus.
Good variety in Borrego Palm Canyon. There is very little brittlebush in bloom on the hills, but plenty in the washes.
Around the visitor center is nice – try the walk from the visitor center to the campground. I’m going to check out Hellhole and Glorietta Canyons today – Glorietta has been looking good, I’m sure it is only getting better. I have heard Hellhole and nearby Surprise are good, and that would make sense.
I’m seeing very few caterpillars at the base of the mountains. The soil is fairly coarse and rocky here, and I think that might be why. The animal doing the damage is the White-Lined Sphinx Moth Caterpillar. A retired biology professor who lives in town tells me these caterpillars will dig a couple feet into the ground. I’m thinking these little guys need sand to burrow.
So the caterpillars wiped out the beginning stretches of Coyote Canyon, but further up the road had some variety, particularly lots of blooming beaver-tail cactus.
Finally, some of the fields along DiGiorgio Road near Henderson Canyon are pretty thick with sand-verbena. Unfortunately, the non verbena plants were crawling with caterpillars this morning, and I have a feeling these little guys might switch to verbena once the other plants are gone, so this area might not last long.