Fast forward to last Sunday. During a return hike to the area, I thoroughly crisscrossed the hiking route from my previous trip but was unable to find the pottery sherds (dang!!!!). However, all is not lost. It's a beautiful area with blue-blue skies and I took a lot of photos (a few of which I'm sharing below). I also made it to Surprise Tank (topic for next week's post). So without further ado...
The Joshua Tree above seems to be telling me which direction to go!
Once you reach the rocks, there are a lot of "desert nolina", most of which were flowering. To my eye, the nolina can be easily confused with the mojave yucca, but yuccas have leaves that are much more rigid and pointy and do more damage if you step into one!
Question mark nolina! Native Americans roasted and ate the flowering stalks, and the leaves were commonly used to weave baskets.
Alien life form?? The flower on this nolina appears to be just ready for blast off!
Climbing up on the rocks, I had a nice view of this little valley on the opposite side that's pretty much surrounded by rocks. I think that's Ryan Mountain in the background. I spotted that little depression in the top of the rock (center-left) and wondered if it might be a mortar. But no, an impractical location that is too difficult to get to. Must just be a natural depression in the rock that weathered that way over the millennia.
I discovered this little cave-like area between two huge rocks. It felt a little like a miniature slot canyon, and it looked like years and years of water erosion had created it. It was just big enough to climb through!
I only spotted this little guy because he moved. A great example of cryptic coloration, I think he's a Blainville's Horned Lizard. I've never seen one like him before, and I think they are rare in Joshua Tree.
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Thanks for stopping by!!