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Desert flowers

This winter it rained a lot in California, so all of the water reservoirs got refilled and the drought is more or less over. At the same time the flowers in the desert started blooming like crazy, so I decided to go to the Anza-Borrego Desert to capture some of that beauty. That desert is located east of San Diego, on the way to it you get to drive on a scenic route with some pretty windy roads.

Colorful dune verbena wildflowers.

When I went for a hike into the Hellhole Canyon I had to decide: Do I bring my Canon 70-200mm f2.8 lens or water, I decided against the water. I went for the lens and I made it obviously, but it was kind of getting close, since I took a detour that took me almost 90 minutes. It was worth for the pictures I shot as a result, but it's always wiser to bring plenty of water to a desert hike. Next time I gonna pack lighter and bring more water!

Cilia flowers and lots of cacti. Ouch!

The weather changed from overcast over cloudy to a spotless blue sky later.

Beavertail cactus with some flowers hiding around it.

So much beautiful wildflowers on display! And I hardly scratched the surface of what's to discover out there in the desert.

The plan was to hike the Hellhole Canyon trail. At some point the trail forked and I took the one going uphill, which was a deviation from my plan, but it turned out to be a better view, hence I got rewarded with the opportunity to shoot better pictures.

Ocotillo blossoms in detail.

You really have to pay attention where you're going: These cacti got a bad-ass defense mechanism, their spines. So you want to wear some serious footwear and maybe some pants instead of shorts.

Ocotillo, aka Fouquieria splendens or candlewood. This one is at the Agua Caliente County Park.

One thing I really like about the Anza-Borrego Desert is its vastness, how far you can see. Sometimes I just wonder how the settlers made it all the way through the deserts at all.

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