There are 2,500 species of palms worldwide, with 11 native to North America. The largest of these, and the only palm tree native to western North America, is the California Fan Palm. It is also known as the Desert Palm and the California Washingtonia. (source)
The leaf fronds are up to 6 feet (1.8 m) long, made up of a petiole up to 2 metres (6.6 ft) long, bearing a fan of leaflets 1.5–2 metres (4.9–6.6 ft) long. They have long thread-like white fibers between the segments. When the fronds die they remain attached and drop down to cloak the trunk in a wide skirt. The shelter that the skirt creates provides a microhabitat for many small birds and invertebrates. (source)
Borrego Palm Canyon is the third-largest palm oasis in California... (source)
- a fertile spot in a desert where water is found
- a pleasant or peaceful area or period in the midst of a difficult, troubled, or hectic place or situation
Last year, our winter break oasis was in lush Big Island of Hawai'i. This year, it is in the deserts of Southern California. In Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, for the first time, we visited an actual oasis.
On our way back along the Palm Canyon Trail, in the magic light of the late afternoon sun, the water turned shining gold.
I am officially in love with the desert and will share more photos soon. In the meantime, I would like to wish you all the best in the New Year: