Sometimes, the best Christmas presents arrive late. Mark Hanning-Lee waited until the new year to send these shots, taken at Joshua Tree National Park on the Christmas weekend.
The Deserts is the last of California’s regions to peak and then, you have to know where the few winter deciduous trees can be seen. Hanning-Lee found peak Frémont cottonwood at Cottonwood Springs a short distance from the parking lot, scoring a first report for Joshua Tree NP. Before leaving for Joshua Tree, Mark watched the moon rise over an ornamental pear in Irvine.