Archive | flora & fauna

Exploring the Moorten Botanical Garden – Palm Springs

I had heard about the Moorten Botanical Garden for years, but it wasn’t until our last trip out to Palm Springs in October that we found it when we were doing an architectural driving tour with my grandparents. It is only a few blocks west of the Ace Hotel and Pool Club, where we have been hanging out for years.


Started in 1938, many of the 3000 desert plant varieties are large and mature. I think of the Moorten as kind of a scrappy desert cousin to the Huntington rare cactus and succulent garden in Pasadena.


There is a $4 donation requested for entry. They have a nursery when you can buy small cacti and succulents. And they rent out the garden for special events like weddings.


It is staffed by a group of plant loving senior volunteers. I laughingly told Jonathan that I was seeing my future. I predict we retire to Palm Springs someday and that I spend my golden years volunteering at the botanical garden.



Upside down hanging cacti in the cactarium!



Next time you in Palm Springs, save an hour or two to visit the Moorten. And bring home a little cacti to remember your visit!


September 7, 2017
Read more in diary, flora & fauna, In California, Palm Springs

It’s Spring at Spirit Wind, Joshua Tree

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Jonathan and I bought Spirit Wind back in February, so this is our very first spring, seeing everything blooming. It’s really exciting to see the whole desert coming to life. And it’s especially exciting to see what we have on the property and to try to identify the flora and fauna.

The Joshua trees have been blooming for a few weeks now but the cacti just started a few days ago. The cholla all have buds on them but I think they may still be a few more weeks before they are in full bloom.


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This is Opuntia basilaris, AKA Beavertail Cactus or Beavertail Pricklypear. So far I found three of them in bloom at Spirit Wind. I think there may be more. The tips of the buds look to juicy and moist. Native americans used to eats the flowers and grind up the seeds to make a porridge. Maybe we should put a few in a salad?

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I was out on a walk last weekend with my mom and we came across this fat snake. It was 6+ feet long! I was really excited and went running towards it shooting photos, but my mom had other ideas and ran the other way. It seems pretty peaceful and not bothered by me getting near it. It was just slithering along doing it’s thing. I looked it up online and I think it is a Gopher snake, which are generally considered pretty friendly. Spring is the beginning of snake season and I’m excited to see what other types of snakes live nearby. The Joshua Tree National Park site lists about 25 types of snakes that live in the park.




March 21, 2016
Read more in diary, flora & fauna

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