Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Living in the High Desert

One of the surprising things about living in the high desert is how many plants actually grow here! When you look at the photo above (which was taken just a couple of miles from our home) all you see are Joshua trees and scrub vegetation. No one would think that anything much could grow here. But lots of plants do!! Those are the San Gabriel Mountains in the distance. And this photo was taken less than a mile from a huge Wal-Mart!

When we first bought our house we were surprised to see grape vines in the back yard. And we also have beautiful roses that grow in both the front and back yards....with very little help from me, I might add!! About the only thing I do is trim off the dead blooms.

We also have two apple trees in the back yard as well as a very old nectarine tree. Right now the nectarine tree has lots of fruit on it but sadly it usually isn't very good eating. It stays rather hard and it has a bitter taste. So we spend a lot of time picking up the fallen fruit and tossing it away!

One summer I tried making jelly with the nectarines but it wasn't good. Could have been because I didn't know what I was doing!!

The other thing we have that I really love is the almond trees in the front yard. Now I'm not crazy about having them out front....I would much prefer them to be in the backyard but they were here when we bought the house. And we do get almonds from them each year.

We have two almond trees....

Each Spring, here in the Antelope Valley, they have a Poppy Festival. The hills all around this area are usually covered in brilliant orange poppies. I do not have one of my own photos to show you but this was taken in this area....

The contrast between the first photo and the last one is one of the reasons why I love this place....it has many faces. There is the stark, dry desert with cactus and Joshua trees and then there are the hills covered with lush flowers....all within a few miles of each other.

In the next few weeks I will try to get out and about and take some photos of the surrounding area since some people asked for photos of the high desert. I must warn you I'm not a photographer and I don't have a fancy camera but I will do my best to show you my little corner of the world.


  1. Hi Janet. I just love the desert and Antalope Valley is just the best. There is nothig like a Joshua tree. Have you ever decorated one for Christmas?

  2. I am fascinated by the desert, because, of course, we never have anything like it here. I must admit I never really thought about flowers, such as the poppies flowering in such abundance there. I always thought it would just be full of Joshua trees. Yes, please take more photos of it, it looks wonderful. Love xx

  3. How pretty! I love the poppies. My hub is from Washington state,,he lived in Wenatchee which was in the middle of the state and had alot of desert to it. Yes,,definetly take more pictures to share with us. Stay cool Janet,,we are suffering from heat here too.

  4. We've had fires too. And the heat. I guess it was 104 here yesterday. I haven't looked. I don't want to know. Today we have storm clouds and I wish it was cooler because of that but it's not, it's just muggier. but if we get rain..... knock on wood.

    I do know the natural beauty down by where you live. And for some reason I'd forgotten or not known you lived down there. It can be so beautiful in the spring, when the ocotillo bloom. I wanted to capture some of that desert on film when we drove through recently, but couldn't find a place or time that was just right to pull over and snap some photos. It's hard to capture the big-sky feeling of it. And of course the heat. And the scent of the desert - all mesquite and sagebrush. Have you ever read DeLint's Forests of the Heart?


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