This painting, "Joshua Blossom Dreaming" was inspired by a photo supplied by my friend Lupe Lightning Turtle. Here's Lupe:
"Joshua trees don't bloom every year. Sometimes they skip a year or two. When they bloom it's usually around March or early April. Before the bud opens, it always has faint purple on the underside of the petals. As the blossom opens up fully and the petals spread, they are a beautiful creamy white.
"The picture was taken of a branch of a Joshua tree that was hanging very low to the ground, and the top of the branch with the blossom was pointed head-on directly at the camera. That particular tree stands in the area inside the circle driveway in front of my cabin. That year, an unusual number of birds were perching on that tree early in the morning, waiting for me to scatter bird seed on the driveway and also for a turn at the bird feeder. In January, the tree was full of birds singing and chirping all day long.
"One day I picked up this book that mentioned something about the reason you don't hear birds singing in the wintertime. Their theory being that birds serve a purpose by helping trees to blossom with their singing in the spring. 'Aha!', I said to myself. 'I can test this theory out right here.'
"Come February, as I was driving out on my way to town, I passed in front of the Joshua tree and, lo and behold, there at eye level was that beautiful blossom staring me right in my face. I looked up and sure enough some of the other branches had started to bloom. None of the other trees in the area had any blossoms. That was the blossom that proved to me the theory of how birds singing help to wake up the blossom."