Last winter, hubby and I visited the Big Morongo Preserve, which is only about an hour from our home in Palm Desert, CA. I used to have the rangers come down to my third grade class and do a presentation for my students, but we aren't allowed to do that kind of thing anymore because of low test scores. So, the students miss out on a morning full of all kinds of interesting facts about desert plants and animals, and instead have to concentrate on test practice, but that's another story. On this day, hubby and I stayed on the boardwalk and took our time and tried to observe as much as we could. I knew those boards were there for a reason (see photo), and yes, we stayed on them! The Big Morongo Preserve has a large variety of plants and trees, from palm trees to pines and lots of sycamores and cottonwoods! Deserts aren't always dry and lifeless and this area is an example that shows a variety of plants and animals that can live in the desert. It backs up to Joshua Tree National Park, if you are looking for it on a map. Scenic Sunday for January 17, 2010.