Coachella Valley Preserve

Last week I painted with a workshop group in the desert near Palm Springs, Salton Sea and Indian Canyon.  Here are the efforts from day one, both are 9 X 12".  Things are quite a bit greener over there this year because we've had quite a bit of rain.

And while painting, I was visited by the beautiful creature pictured below.  Thanks to the internet, I can tell you it's a Desert Spider Beetle, Cysteodemus armatus, also known as the Inflated Beetle.  It ran around for a few minutes as if looking for something, then scurried off to safety.  The second shot shows the heel of a large shoeprint for scale.  You'll find a much better close up shot at this link.