Monday, March 28, 2011

A Desert Spectacle in Borrego Springs

Dozens of these fascinating sculptures arise from the desert floor as you drive through
the town of Borrego Springs.
Owner of the 'Galleta Meadows Estate,' Dennis Avery is the person to thank for the spectacle.

Brittlebush: Encelia farinosa (Photo: Alice Joyce)
Outstanding arrays of golden, daisy-like flowers covered myriad brittlebush during my mid-March desert journey. The plant's form is an interesting dome-shape, with mounded silver-gray foliage below the abundant flowers. A member of the Asteraceae family, the brittlebush boasts new, white foliage with a texture like velvet in summer.

Avery commissioned Ricardo Breceda to work his magic with welded steel. In the past few years, Breceda has created giant sloths and baby camels, mammoths and raptors, elephants and tortoises, and to the delight of all who unknowingly come upon them, extinct prehistoric species: Gomphotheriums and Sabertooths that once roamed the land. Historical figure, Juan Bautista de Anza has joined the open-air exhibition.
All text and photos: Copyright © Alice Joyce
Fouqueria splendens bloom (Photo © Alice Joyce) Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
Common names: Ocotillo .. Desert Coral
Among the desert's flora, I found the sculptural form of the plant's linear stems entrancing, not to mention the springtime display of fiery flower heads -- countless ocotillos were in-bloom!


  1. Oh, my!! That's spectacular! Ah who CANNOT love the amazing life form that is ocotillo?!? Thanks so much for bringing this. I will DEFinitely have to mark that place on the map and check it out. How nice to imagine the A-B desert in toasty bloom as we are still surrounded by snow. Thank you! =)

  2. That surely makes an impact in that challenging environment, but it seems there is always beauty if we look for it, no matter how subtle.

  3. Looks like you got some great shots before the rain came! I love the shot of the Fouqueria splendens, with the blue sky and the mountains in the background!

  4. I'm having a difficult time returning to 'real life' after the beauty of the desert landscape. Any suggestions....;-)

  5. It is a bit funny to see those animal structures in the dessert! I somehow want it purely dessert and its normal inhabitants. I love most the picture of those weeds, as there's a lot of them in my neighborhood but can't seem to get a very detailed shot. I normally dont bring tripod in my walks and my hands are betraying me!

  6. Andrea
    I understand exactly what you mean about the purity of the desert landscape. I think the earliest works - huge prehistoric creatures, presented a super-surprise when one just happened upon them.

  7. I love the sculptures in Borrego Springs. Very dramatic. This I would consider as art.

  8. i think they are some of the best sculptures ever and what a location for them!

  9. Wow, cool sculptures. I just became your newest follower :) I absolutely LOVE your blog header pic. Can you share details about it?
    'hugs from afar'

  10. Cher
    My header photograph is from a renowned English garden designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens: HESTERCOMBE!