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California Native Plant Society

Santa Clara Valley Chapter

Anza Borrego State Park - March 6 - 13, 2016

By Dee Wong, Field Trip Chair

bighorn sheep anza borrego lohseCo-leaders Patricia Evans and Joe Cernac took 17 hearty souls (including CNPS fellow Sally Casey, age 94) on a trip to the desert, despite forecasts of rain. After arriving in Anza Borrego on Sunday March 6, the trip started in the rain Monday with a stop at the visitor center. Two days of sunny hiking followed in Palm Canyon and Culp Valley. Many of the highlights were seeing the desert peach, desert apricot, and desert almond all on the same day. We also saw five bighorn sheep which the state park is partially named after, Borrego, and hundreds if not thousands of sphinx moth caterpillars of various instars (molting phases) devouring the brown-eyed primrose and sand verbenas. Dee Wong even saw one that was digging a hole in preparation for pupating.

Andy B. was able to find a more appropriate home in the desert for his rescue desert tortoise, to the ranger at Anza Borrego, and Bob G. was "attacked" by a teddy bear cholla.

Because of the expected rain on Thursday, we decided not to drive on to Carrizo Plain, but went to Red Rock State Park and camped there instead. From there we hiked into Short Canyon and Hagen Canyon. Joe provided accurate plant lists despite the change in venue. At the end of Short Canyon we found the Quercus palmeri, with very long spines on the leaves. On Friday, remaining participants who had not been put off by the oncoming storm enjoyed a dinner inside the Evans’ RV while the rain and wind raged outside. All in all, everyone enjoyed the trip and had a lot of fun!

53 road from borrego springs jacobs59 sphinx moth caterpillars jacobsbig horn sheep absp jacobs62 rattlesnake sandmat culp valley jacobs83 culp valley tr jacobs87 desert dandelion pincushion cryptantha rrsp jacobs93 campground rrsp jacobs151 palmer oak joshua tree rr jacobs153 salvia dorrii short canyon jacobs

Photos above (except for very first bighorn sheep photo) are by Peggy Jacobs.

Very first bighorn sheep photo and photos below are by Jeorg Lohse.

beavertail opuntia basilaris absp lohsecnps2 anza borrego lohse

More pictures from our members on the trip:

Peggy Jacob’s pictures from the trip, are at:

Anza Borrego pictures from Joerg Lohse have been uploaded to:




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