This Is Now…

When we arrived back at Thousand Palms Oasis in the Coachella Valley Preserve on September 27th, this is what was happening under the palm trees…

Palm fruit started blooming.

Buddy and Bear were waiting for us.

And Gregg…

Sonoran Desert Spiny Lizard…

A rattlesnake dining on a Norwegian mouse…

Gregg and Tyler ride the new Preserve all-terrain work vehicle, the Kawasaki Mule.

Gregg’s son, Matt, hacks my iPhone to take a selfie with his Dad.

Matt’s girlfriend, Amanda, joins in…

Outside Tyler’s office/lab I snap this photo of dead palm trees. The one on the right is modeling the haystack look.

The Washingtonia Filifera, aka California Desert Fan Palm, displays its skirt and ripened palm fruit.

The palm grove surrounding Simone Pond…

The Indio Hills pushing upward between the Mission Creek Strand and Banning Strand of the San Andreas Fault…

A collared lizard…

The robins return!

This photo is dedicated to my grandson, Oliver, who shares the rareness of the arrival of these robins.

Spider webs captured in the morning light on the boardwalk…

A walk along the boardwalk wetlands…

A glorious morning sunrise painting the clouds pink and orange…

The long-eared owl returns to his perch on the palm trees along the boardwalk.

Nestled under the palm trees against the backdrop of the Indio Hills, lie our RV and Gregg’s trailer. You are looking at the San Andreas Fault, well, the best evidence of…


Hidden Palms tucked away…

No, water is not visible on the surface, but it lies 6-12 feet under the sand.

A scorched palm tree recovers its life because the crown of the tree has not been damaged.

We hike up onto a social trail on our way back from visiting Hidden Palms.

Beaver-tailed cactus…


Car Crash Canyon…

Pushawalla Palms…

Just look at the luscious palm fruit dripping down!

The Native Cahuilla ate the juicy fruit from the trees, mashed it into a pulp for fermentation, and ground it into flour.

Mineral-stained water trails show the evidence of water lying beneath the surface.

These straw-like tendrils reach down into the water source below to encourage the propagation of these indigenous California palm trees.

Susan’s Oasis Chat

Squaw hill, smoke tree ranch, boardwalK

From atop Squaw Hill the Indio Hills rise up in the immediate background. The California Fan Palms, the only native palm trees of California, wind their way through Thousand Palms Oasis and Simone Pond on the McCallum Trail. The Little San Bernardino Mountains are peaking up in the distance to the right. Joshua Tree National Park lies within these hills and abuts the boundaries of the Coachella Valley Preserve.

The Oasis water line crosses Thousand Palms Canyon Road to the southeast on the Mission Creek Strand of the San Andreas Fault. On the other side of the Indio Hills lies the Banning Strand of the Fault.

The Little San Bernardino Mountains overlook Thousand Palms Canyon Road and the parking area of Thousand Palms Oasis in the Coachella Valley Preserve.

Palm trees are really grasses like bamboo. That’s why they easily bend toward the sunlight they require.

When the green palm fronds die they fold over to create a skirt that provides a habitat for birds, insects, rodents, and snakes.

Palm fruit is edible and delicious, tasting similar to a date or raisin, but like a pomegranate, contains a large seed. Freshly ripened palm fruit is gooey and juicy like molasses. The Cahuilla ate them and ground them into meal. The unripened fruit are light brown or green.

The ripened fruit are dark purple.

The inside of the skirt of palm fronds looks like this…

Looking up from the boardwalk… This view never gets old.

The “elephant trunk”… This palm tree begins some 25 feet away!