Favorite Travel Quotes

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts."
-- Mark Twain
Innocents Abroad

"Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey." -- Fitzhugh Mullan

"A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving." -- Lao Tzu

Wildflower Alert At Anza-Borrego State Park

©Bert Gildart: Tiny wildflowers are beginning to emerge near the Visitor Center at California’s Anza-Borrego State Park. Though I can not say with complete certainly, from my description a park naturalist said he thought the flower now posted here is Phacelia crenulata , or the Notched-leaf Phacelia. Regardless it is the first flower we have seen in two weeks of daily explorations.

Notched-leaf Phacelia

First flower of the season


The flower is tiny, standing about half an inch high. Probably it appears twice life size on your screen. Because you need to be on your stomach to really see it, some people would call it a “belly plant.” The flower is purple and the actual leaves are certainly notched. Though not yet abundant, my desert wildflower book says it also grows along the park’s Montezuma Road. Because it is so tiny, photographing it was a challenge, particularly in the direct sun of yesterday. To reduce harsh shadows, I added two Nikon SB-800 strobes for fill light. To maximize depth of field I choose an aperture of f-32, the smallest possible with this lens.

Naturalist say other species will soon be following, but the main wildflower emergence generally occurs in March. Though we are about to depart for Death Valley, we hope to return to Anza Borrego in about a month, depending on the abundance of flowers, which can not be predicted. That uncertainly, however, is what makes Anza Borrego so interesting. As Marshall South once wrote, “There is nothing ‘regular’ about the desert. Uncertainty is the keynote and its eternal fascination.”

We can live with that.

3 Responses to “Wildflower Alert At Anza-Borrego State Park”

  1. Gadget Says:

    Hey there Bert. Good to see the flower!

    I’ll be heading out to AB Feb 28th and staying 5 days. So maybe we’ll run into each other again.

    Great photos as always Bert. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Jason Says:

    Hey Bert,
    That “first flower of the season” on your web site is not a Phaecelia; it’s filaree, a geranium weed. I’m surprised that a park naturalist did not recognize that commmon weed.
    Well, maybe you didn’t actually show the photo to the naturalist.
    Anyway, an inch and a half of rain fell so far this week in Borrego, so maybe you’ll get some good photos in the spring.

  3. Keshavay Says:

    Thank you for a great blog.