Desert in Bloom

In later May I had to make a business trip down to St. George, Utah to visit some clients that I have there.  I had a morning off, so I decided to venture out to Snow Canyon State Park on the northwest side of town.  Last year one of my clients had driven me up there to show off her new area.  I had been quite amazed, so I decided to make a quick morning trip to the park.

I really only had a couple of hours, and I had to figure out how to make the best use of my very short time. I figured the best thing to do was just to drive into the park and see what caught my eye. Sure enough not far in I looked over to the west of the road and saw a nice stand of yucca cactus in full bloom.

The western part of the United States has had a very cool and wet spring in 2019, and as a result the desert was unusually lush and vibrant. I figured I could just hike around in this area and photo opportunities would come to me as I relaxed and got into the whole scene. Every photo in this post was taken within 1/2 mile of where I parked my truck. I’m only showing you a tiny fraction of this park. Snow Canyon is definitely a place I will need to revisit in the future when I have more time.

Here is a small sample of some things that I was seeing that morning in late May. I hope you can enjoy the beauty that I experienced when I was in Snow Canyon.

Yellow cholla 1
These are cholla blooms.  I don’t recall seeing a cholla (pronounced choy ya) cactus in full bloom in many years.
Canyon Vista 2
Looking northward into the park.  You can see the moisture in the desert air with all of the clouds.
Yucca bloom 1
A more close-up view of some yucca cactus blossoms.  Yucca are interesting plants.  The flower stalks are quite edible, but rather bland.  And the leaves have very stiff spines on the tips which burn like fire when you get poked.
Canyon Vista 1
I think it is really interesting how many different small sub-climate zones can exist in such a confined area.  The yucca prefer to be near the cliffs and rocks while the cholla like the more open and exposed terrain.
Cholla bloom 2
Here is a close-up of a cholla blossom.  It is quite rare to see the desert with so much color and greenery.
Notice the lichens on these boulders.
Morning Vista
Here is a nice morning vista looking out across Snow Canyon.
Prickly Pear
Prickly Pear cactus in full bloom.  The cactus gets its name from its pear shaped “leaves”, or stalks.  These are really striking in real life.  But the spines are horribly painful if one gets into them.
Cholla blooms
A lush head of cholla blossoms.  I think this is my favorite photo in this set.

Well, I hope you enjoyed my little photo tour of a bit of Snow Canyon State Park near St. George, Utah. As always thanks for stopping by, and I would love to know what you think of my post.