Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Palm Springs - Part 9

By its name you would think that Palm Springs is a lush tropical paradise full of beautiful trees and flowers with a babbling brook trickling over water falls ... But you are mistaken.  The surrounding mountains are desolate and the plains are dry and dusty and for the first time in my 49 years, I saw a real live ... er dead ... tumbleweed blowing in the wind.

But Palm Springs did contain much beauty.

The cactus's ... cacti (?) ... were amazing.  Splashes of colour here and there to excite my eyes.

Johnnie-Girl explored one cactus VERY closely

And yep, it's true ...
those needles are sharp like needles

The bug life in the desert was very different to what we are used to.  Luckily we were not pestered by many insects, (I hate bugs), but Dreamer found this monster insect sucking nectar or water from a plant.  It was about 2 or 3 inches long!

There then there were the many different types of palm trees to be seen.  We figure that this one is used to make hula skirts. 

To help you understand how big some of them grow ... realize that I am pointing the camera straight up to get this shot.  So unusual.

We stopped at a very informative Visitor Information Station and was blessed with a woman who wanted to share ALL she knew about the desert, its plants and animals.  They even had a display of animal and bird droppings ... I think it is called 'scat'.  Don't be too revolted ...  the display was under glass.  
They also had a display of the local snakes. Fortunately these 'stuffed' ones were the only ones that we encountered on our trip.

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