Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Desert Trail Column - July 22, 2020

Here are some interesting facts about Joshua trees taken from a recent newspaper article written by Ruth Nolan who teaches at College of the Desert. The Joshua tree isn’t really a tree, it’s actually a member of the asparagus family. Native Americans living in the Mojave Desert traditionally ate Joshua tree buds, flowers and seeds; used the roots for basket-making material, shampoo and soap; used fibers to make cordage and nets; and used the sharp point at the ends of the leaves as an awl. The name Joshua tree is attributed to the Mormons who thought the outstretched limbs resembled the outstretched arms of Joshua directing them on their journey. Other early explorers viewed the Joshua tree in a different light. John C. Fremont said, “Their stiff and ungraceful form makes them to the traveler the most repulsive tree in the vegetable kingdom.”  J. Smeaton Chase described the sight of Joshua trees as “having a nightmare effect even in the broad daylight; at the witching hour it can almost be infernal.” Edna Brush Perkins called them “grotesque  … covered with matted, gray hair …” and “distinctly unpleasant.” But beautiful or ugly, the Western Joshua tree is currently under consideration for further legal protection under the California Endangered Species Act.

 Godwin Christian Fellowship, 6389 Godwin Road at Highway 62, has gone back to drive-in church services every Sunday at 7:30 a.m. Everyone is asked to wear a face covering and to remain in their vehicle. Contact Pastor Max Rossi at or 831-234-6848, or Brother Wally Currie at 760-449-8683 for further information.


We send out Rainbows-of-Rubies-and-Larkspurs to Isabel Austin, Star Javier and Mary Anderson who celebrate their special days this week. Happy birthday, Mary, Star and Isabel!


Here are some phone numbers you might find useful. San Bernardino County Code Enforcement 760-995-8154, SBC Environmental Health Division 800-442-2283, SBC Fire Hazard and Weed Abatement 909-884-4056.

 Handy Hint:  Up to 20 per cent of your electric bill charges come from “vampire” home electronics that are plugged in but not in use. By using smart outlets, you can power your electronics on and off automatically with a voice command.

 Today’s Thought:  Our friends Rick Smith and Judy Taylor were both born in 1940, so this item is dedicated to them! According to Merriam-Webster, the following words were first used in 1940:  anti-smog, Bermuda shorts, bomber jacket, burnout, crib sheet, disc jockey, dunk shot, inductee, K ration, Mae West, penny candy, shotgun seat, shutterbug, sloppy Joe, swing shift, touch-type and vibes. Also, the median annual income was $956 and the federal minimum wage was 30 cents an hour.


Until next time . . . remember to take time to enjoy the WONDERs all around us.