Category Archives: Cactus & Succulents

California Buckwheat, Mustard & Prickly Pear Cactus – Del Mar

I’m still stopping by the roadsides & travelling around town to enjoy all the wild flowers blooming in San Diego after our wonderful rainy season this year that ended a 10-year drought.  These photos are of the Los Penasquitos March Nature Preserve & Lagoon between Del Mar and Torrey Pines State Reserve and State Beach.  I was on the hunt today for wild California Buckwheat, which is a major source of nectar for butterflies & honey bees.  The white flowers with a hint of pink clump together on top of woody stems with deep green leaves.  Really lovely.  While I was photographing the bees were buzzing!  Of course there was more wild Mustard growing there and I was surprised to find tons of Prickly Pear Cactus there, too.  Torrey Pines State Reserve is to the south and La Jolla appears in the distant landscape.  Torrey Pines State Beach is a wonderful place to drive by early in the morning and see the Inshore Dolphins surfing the glassy waves.  Really it is such magical world and I am so lucky.  


May 2014 Art Journal - Page 61 WATERMARK


MIDDLE OF MAY 2014 – 2014 ART JOURNAL OF AN ARTIST LIVING BY THE SEA –   This week was one filled with 8 San Diego Wild Fires & raging Santa Ana winds.  It was 96 degrees at the coast, which is unheard of & broke records back to the 1950s.  I put Chinese paper umbrellas over one of my shade plants to protect it from the blazing sun & drank iced peppermint tea to try to stay cool before the arrival of a portable air conditioner!  It was just too hot to spend time at the beach & I only drove by to visit quickly.  One afternoon was spent making greeting cards of a cute flower cart design.  Lots of reading due to the heat. One day I stopped and took photos of Lily of the Nile (Agapanthus) flowers, which are blooming everywhere now & a lovely yard with a white picket fence & cascading roses caught my camera lens, too.  This week I did paintings of cactus & desert wildflowers and one Goldfinch & Zinnia Japanese Etegami postcard.  

One of the great advantages of my illustrated 2014 Art Journal is to count my blessings and to focus on the moments of beauty in my life.  Art is a way to gratefulness for me.


Anza Borrego - Desert Bloom

After winter rains, it is time for the wild flowers to in the Anza Borrego Desert.   Some years there may be no wild flower bloom at all & other years the blooming flowers may be spectacular.  This makes seeing these wild flowers very special.  No one knows which ones will bloom, if they bloom at all.

These flowers are Desert Dandelion & Golden Poppies & when they bloom as a group, the desert floor is a carpet of yellow wild flowers. 

The Desert Lily is one of these lovely wild flower gems to search for.  I love lilies & the graceful arching serrated leaves are lovely as they lay against the desert floor.

Some of the flowers are lovely shades of purples & pinks, too.  The wild flower on the left is Sand Verbena.  I think the one on the right is Larkspur.

What would a desert landscape be without cactus?  These are Barrel Cactus.  There are all kinds of wild flowers & cactus.  I think a lifetime study of these would be required to know all of their names, especially since they don’t bloom every year!

Teddy Bear Cholla WATERMARK

This cactus is called a Teddy Bear Cactus.  I don’t see a teddy bear, but I do see a rabbit!

Here are a few of my quick Japanese brush paintings of desert wild flowers & cactus.

Cactus on Chinese Prac Paper 5-2014 WATERMARK

Big Horn Sheep 5-16-2014 WATERMARK

One of the inhabitants of the Anza Borrego Desert is Big Horn Sheep.  I have not yet been lucky enough to see them in the wild.

Fish Hook Barrel Cactus 5-16-2014 WATERMARK

There is lots of wild life living in the desert that is not easily seen at first glance.  I’m glad that Anza Borrego State Park is preserving this very special & unique environment for all to come & enjoy.