Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park is in southern California. It contains parts of two deserts. One is the Colorado Desert. It has a lower elevation. The Colorado Desert's elevation is less than 3,000 feet above sea level. The other is the Mojave Desert. Many new visitors think the environment here is very harsh. They may have a hard time finding the beauty. However, many people learn to value Joshua Tree National Park with time. Over half a million acres of the park is wilderness. Visitors who hike in the wilderness can see things that few people ever see.

How did the park get its name? The Joshua tree got its name from Mormon pioneers. They thought it looked like a man named Joshua with his arms outstretched. The tree has a brown trunk. It doesn't have growth rings, so it is hard to tell the age of a Joshua tree. The leaves are dark green. They look like knives and can be very sharp. They stick out of the top of the limbs. The Joshua tree can have flowers. It does not bloom every year. The blossoms are creamy white. The blooms appear from February to late March. If the Joshua tree does not bloom, it doesn't grow new limbs. The blossoms mark where the new limbs will be.

There is a lot of life in the deserts. You may see a tarantula here. This spider is shy around humans. Tarantulas can bite. A tarantula bite feels about the same as a bee sting. If you see a tarantula, leave it alone. You will both be happier!

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