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The Phantom's Virtual Postcard tour Continues:
The Blooming Desert
I want to share these beautiful old saw tooth linen postcards with you,
photographed in Kodachrome by Stephen H. Willard, circa early 1950s.

I'm not a huge fan of the desert, as many of you know by now,
although I do travel there with my husband who loves to play golf in the
Palm Springs area. So we've seen what the desert looks like,
both with and without water. With enough water, it can look amazingly green and lush,
like the most unbelievable tropical garden. Without water, the Mojave looks, well,
like a desert: gray, blowing sand, a few stray Joshua trees, some rolling brush,
really depressing if you ask me.

Not at all like the postcard picture above. This was probably one of the
first attempts at what we now call "photoshopping".


If you add water, you get this. This photo was probably taken in the early 1950s
somewhere in downtown Palm Springs. The city still looks sort of like this, only bigger with newer cars,
lots of palm trees, bougainvillea, perky annuals, more shops and taller buildings, and traffic. And the "Palm Springs area" extends from Palm Springs to Indio, about 50 miles east -- one long chain of desert towns and golf courses, all linked together along the highway.
Of course, every spring, a minor miracle occurs in the desert that surrounds the Palm Springs area when the rains and cooler weather arrives. The desert comes to life. All those withered brownish plants, brush, and straggly trees suddenly turn greenish and then blossom with amazing flowers. It can be breath-taking for a few short weeks when all the succulents, grasses and tree-like plants show off their finery.

But then the temperatures start to rise, the desert seems to have a very short "spring", and the heat blasts away the blossoms and it all turns brownish gray again.

If you decide to wander through Joshua Tree National Park, you'll see many areas
that look like this, in addition to towering rock formations and of course, lots
of Joshua Trees. The park is right outside of Palm Springs and is well worth
a stop, especially if you happen to be there in springtime.

If not, you might want to just take a close look at the postcards,
and then head for the nearest spa.

Please join the Phantom  as our virtual tour of the US continues. So far, our tour includes the following states:

California, Oregon, Washington,
Alaska, Hawaii
, Arizona, Oregon, Washington, Texas, and Massachusetts.

Stay with us as we visit all of the United States, 
and who knows where next...

American Black Bear Postcards
Backs of the postcards
Cruising, 1970s style

Couples: rules to live by
Dangerous postcard animals
Dear Diary: Italy again
Driving the I-95  (text by Johnna Kaplan)
Favorite animal postcards
Not sure I'd want to see this
Old Hawaii
Old Motels

Other People's Vacations
Places I'd like to Visit

Postcard recipes
Side trip to Europe!
Spring in the Desert
Ugly Postcard Tour
Where My Friends Went, part 2, part 3
World Tour
The 50 State Quick Tour

Diannek, clevermag's editor, 
is affectionately known as
the Phantom to friends and family.



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