Monday, May 4, 2009

Joshua Tree

My feline companions and I originally wrote this article for publication in an online newsletter. The plan was to wait until it had been published there before posting it here as there is some overlap in the readership. Unfortunatly, the publication date of the article is now uncertain so we have decided to post it here.

Joshua Tree National Park


Spanky: As it is my understanding that our previous article about a national park was well received by our readers, my fellow felines and I have decided to write another installment.

Edmund: What did he say?

Dante: He said that people liked our article.

Edmund: They did?!? Yay! *frolics*

Spanky: Ahem. As I was saying, for this article we’ve decided to write about a park near our new home. I am, of course, referring to Joshua Tree National Park located in Southern California.

Edmund: Except there weren’t any trees there! Why is it called Joshua Tree National Park if there aren’t any trees?

Spanky: Excellent question, my young friend. Allow me to explain. The Joshua Tree is a giant member of the lily family more commonly known as a yucca. As you can see from the picture, it resembles a kind of spindly cactus. Mormon settlers named the tree after the prophet Joshua because its limbs seem to reach upward in prayer.


Edmund: So, not a tree?

Dante: Nope. More like a spiky plant thing.

Spanky: The park contains portions of two deserts—the Sonoran and the Mojave—as well as The Little San Bernardino Mountains.

Dante: Only humans would think it was a good idea to go walk around some place with no water and that’s covered with plants that grow their own weapons.


Spanky: As we’ve discussed before, such trips hold much educational value.

Dante: Right. Value.

Spanky: Moving on. The park also contains numerous rock outcroppings that appear to have been piled up by absent-minded giants.


Edmund: There are giants in Southern California?!

Spanky: No, my dear boy. I was speaking metaphorically.

Dante: He doesn’t know what a metaphor is.

Edmund: Is it cat food?

Spanky: No, it’s not cat food. It’s just a…. never mind what it is. There aren’t any giants in Southern California or anywhere else.

Edmund: Yay! *frolics*

Spanky: The rock formations were created by the weathering of large deposits of metamorphic rock, granite and gneiss (pronounced “nice”) to be precise. This process is still ongoing as water works it way into minute fractures in the outcroppings slowly eroding its surroundings.

Edmund: You’re sure they’re not giants’ toys?

Spanky: Completely certain.

Dante: If you are not crazy enough to want to go walk around in a desert, here is a link to the park’s website.

Spanky: How considerate of you, Dante.

Dante: Whatever.

Spanky: Humph! When I was a kitten, I was expected to thank people when they complimented me.

Edmund: Guys! She said she won’t let us do this again if you two fight!

Spanky: Very well, then. I hope everyone has enjoyed learning about Joshua Tree National Park. We look forward to presenting for you all again.



Felinity said...

I really loved it! :-)

cleomarie said...

Wow, Spanky is like 10000000x smarter than I ever knew! And Edmund, well, his fur is really nice.