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26 March 2017 @ 12:47 pm
An otherworldly landscape  
Place: Holtville to Borrego Springs, California
Date: February 21, 2017
Weather: Nice and sunny with some lingering clouds.
Click through to Flickr for larger versions of the photos.

The drive to and through Anza Borrego was out of this world. There are so many science fiction movies that have been set in this desert area, it's hard not to look for star ships in the sky. Here's a panorama I took on Hwy 78.
Panorama from Hwy 78, on my way to Borrego Springs.

In America, they make the roads straight. If you found a road this straight in Europe, it would have been a dead give-away that it was originally a Roman road. Even in order-obsessed Germany, the roads are never this straight.
Desert road.

Another photo from the drive. You can tell that it's winter, by the clouds. It had actually rained in the area a few days earlier. That's extremely rare. They were expecting lots of wildflowers. Unfortunately I was too early for that, but the desert was unusually green. The green comes mostly from creosote bushes, Larrea tridentata. They look like a child's drawing of a bush, with leaves straight on the stems and no twigs.
On the way to AB.

I spent a little time in Borrego Springs. Here I've indulged my fondness for vintage American signs. If it weren't for the white car in the background, this photo could have been from any of the last 5 decades or so. It's very typical of Southern California too, with the desert plants and palm trees.
Carlos' Food & Spirits in Borrego Springs.

Most of my time in Borrego Springs I spent in the little botanical garden. This plant is a chuparosa bush, Justicia californica. Hummingbirds love it. It's also called hummingbird bush.

Here's some flowering mesquite. The genus is Prosopis but I don't know the species.

A couple of blue palo verde trees, Cercidium floridum, showing off their green branches against the blue sky.
Palo verde.

Totem cactus, Lophocereus schottii var. monstrosus, is aptly named. I really like the random knobbliness. It's a plus too, that it isn't spiny.
Totem cactus.

I went for a brief walk outside Borrego Springs. This landscape is pretty typical.
Typical view outside Borrego Springs.

There were some touristy shops in Borrego Springs that I visited. The label says that the mask is an antique Day of the Dead mask. I kind of doubt that it's antique, but it's certainly striking.

I bougth some piñon incense here. It comes in bricks and has a lovely, spicy conifer smell.
Antique Day of the Dead mask.

Leaving Borrego Springs, I stopped to take this photo of the mountain range with the curious, lenticular cloud above it. There's also a lot of geology going on in this photo. It could have been taken from a geology textbook.
Gotta wonder what's up with those lenticular clouds.

My final photo is of California State Route 22, the Borrego Salton Seaway.
Panorama from State Route 22, the Borrego-Salton Seaway.

scottksscottks on March 27th, 2017 04:17 am (UTC)
I'm loving all the photos and travelogue. I miss southern California for all these reasons -- the desert, the mountains, the open road. Creosote and not sagebrush.
mjaussonmjausson on March 27th, 2017 04:38 am (UTC)
Yeah, it's gorgeous. It was nice to get away from the crowds near the coast, too.