Sunday, March 19, 2017

Desert Blooms

This winter has been the wettest winter in several years and it's showing. Last week we were driving the kids to the park and I could see Daisy Mountain turning orange from the poppies from over 3 miles away. So the next day I decided to take a hike up Daisy Mountain. There were flowers everywhere. It almost doesn't look like a desert here. 

Coming down the mountain I came across a Western Diamondback. It happened to be less than 100 yards down the hill from where I saw my first rattlesnake in this state. It seemed a little strange because the trail was pretty busy that morning. I had just passed a girl coming up the trail not even two minutes prior to this what means she walked right past it. I was putting my phone in my back pocket, heard the snake rattle, and stopped. I started looking around and there it was less than 5 feet in front of me slithering across the trail. 

So I stopped for a few minutes and took some pictures then waited for the snake to get off the trail. I saw quite a few people coming up and didn't want someone to find it and kill it. Right before I left a guy came up jogging and stopped to check out the snake.  He told me just a week ago he had a "turtle" (desert tortoise) hiss at him on the trail. I asked him where and it was the same tortoise I had stepped on the week before. 

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park

Yesterday we took a drive down south to Superior to check out Boyce Thompson Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. Due to the Renaissance Fair the commute sucked. It took us two hours to get there. The park was well worth the drive though.

The park is huge. We walked 5 miles and didn't even get to see everything. I'm not a fan at all of all the invasive Australian trees they plant in California and Florida but I have to say the Australian forest at this park was pretty cool. They had the biggest eucalyptus, Australian pine, and gum trees I have ever seen. One of the gum trees was over 8 feet in diameter and they are well over 150 feet tall. 

There is a couple miles of natural desert trails as well as three different desert regions, Sonoran, Chihuahuan, and South American. The kids mostly enjoyed themselves with only a little complaining. Zachy decided he is the man and kept trying to run ahead and lead the way. He did not like holding hands and a couple times he had a little slip when he refused. Afterwards he would behave for a couple minutes before being stubborn again. 

Our fearless leader.

 On the upper trail. I read a review online that this trail is strenuous. Someone needs to put the bowl of ice cream back in the fridge and get out more. This trail is rated easy, so easy a 3 year old can do it.
 I was going to say the rock looks like a face but Adri beat me to it.

 The suspension bridge at the end of the upper trail.

 Zachy tried to do the horns but just couldn't get it. A for effort Zachy Zach.
 The only part of the trail we didn't do was around the house on the hill.

 Hard to see in this picture unless you zoom in but on the right side of the trail those bushes are covered in yellow flowers.
 Zachy Zach found this stick and held onto it for over an hour.
 An old house built into the rocks.

 This kid loves to jump off of things.

 At the picnic area. Learned after I hauled in my cooler I can park down there.
 An old shack in the Australian forest.

 Gum tree.
 Mediterranean Cypress

 This rock maze kept the kids busy for quite a while.

 The Sonoran trail.

 I never did find out what these trees are but they were pretty cool.

 These cacti come from Chili.

 The kids playing on the leaky dam.