Common Chuckwalla (Sauromalus ater), Cottonwood Canyon, Joshua Tree National Park
Black-throated sparrows were quite common throughout mush of Joshua Tree NP. Several were even seen carrying nesting material.
This Hammond's flycatcher was found in the scrub near the Cottonwood Spring Campground. Empids are notoriously difficult to ID. This one's identification was based on the combination of its small size, tiny, dark bill, olive back, long primaries, notched tail, and rather large-headed appearance with a small peak near the back of the crown.
This bird is on migration to its breeding grounds in the high elevation western conifer forests.
This was one of a pair of fast flying White-throted Swifts feeding above the palm trees at Cottonwood Spring.
During a spring NABA butterfly count in the Cottonwood area of Joshua Tree, we were able to watch a female tiny checkerspot ovipositing on a chuperosa. I'm attaching a series of photos showing butterfly, eggs, and what I think is a tiny checkerspot larva. The larva was seen earlier on a different plant but in the same general area. This would be the imperialis ssp. of Dymasia dymas. I'm hoping someone can confirm or correct the ID of the larva. Thanks.
Numerous Desert Pincushions were found in a wide sandy wash south of Cottonwood Springs. It was identified by the its unusual leaf structure and location.
Several species of pincushion are known from Joshua Tree National Park.
These striking blue flowers were common in the sandy washes and gravely areas of Joshua Tree NP in the southern part of the park south of Cottonwood Spring.
This small Flatcrown Buckweat (family Polygonaceae) was one of several found in a wide,sandy wash south of Cottonwood Springs.
It was identified by its unusual shape and basal rosette of round, hairy leaves.
Based on the plant's wrinkled leaves, this is the S. ambigua var. rugosa, also occasionally known as the Desert Globemallow. These plants were fairly common on rocky hillsides in the southern part of the park, south of Cottonwood Spring.
It's also known as Scarlet Locoweed. In California, this charismatic plant is found mainly in juniper woodlands in the southeastern portion of the state.
The Chuparosa (also known as Beloperone) is found in sand and gravel washes in the Colorado and Sonoran Deserts. Its blossoms are important hummingbird flowers and it is one of only two species of the predominately tropical Acanthaceae native to California.
In the southern portions of Joshua Tree NP., many of the Catclaw Acacias (Acacia greggii) were infected with lconspicuous growths of Desert Mistletoe. The large berries of the mistletoe are one of the main food sources for the Phainopepla, a fairly common bird portions of the Colorado Desert.
The Creosote Bush (family Zygophyllaceae) is an extremely common member of the Sonoran and Mohave Desert plant communities. I was fortunate enough to arrive in time to find multiple individuals in bloom.
This plant was on the edge of a dry wash south of Cottonwood Springs.