Place: Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve in the Coachella Valley Preserve System, Thousand Palms, California
Coordinates: 33.8375, -116.3102
Length: about 3.5 miles
Difficulty: Easy (in mild weather).
The morning of last day of 2012 was very relaxing for us. It was also our last day in the Southern California deserts winter vacation. We took our time packing and ate our breakfast in leisure. All of yesterday's clouds were gone and the sky was clear.
|7:15 am at Palm Springs, California. Mount San Jacinto under the setting moon.|
The quaint little visitor center is operated by docents who dispense information to visitors. We were also greeted by the sound of bird songs from the palm trees all over the place. Some even showed themselves :-)
House Finch, male
Based on the docent's recommendation we took the trail to McCahun Grove and the Moon Country Loop. The weather was perfect: sunny with soft wind and mild temperatures. Perfect hiking conditions.
Washingtonia fan palms need fresh water, and lots of it. Wherever these trees are found, water is close by. The sight of these palms, therefore, has always been a blessing for desert travelers. Even today, when we are never too far from a source of drinking water, these trees provide a refreshing coolness in the desert heat.
|Thousand Palms Oasis|
The hills are almost bare. The wash bed, however, is rich with vegetation. About the oasis the ground was completely covered with plants, as tall as an adult person.
It is the deafening desert silence that I can hear my own spirit speak.
The ground is marked by the tracks of the last flash flood which happened, who knows when. The ground was completely dry.
|A grove of Tamarisk, an aggressive, invasive species that spreads in the California deserts on the expense of native plants.|