Palms in the Desert

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Palm trees have long been a symbol of the desert and, more importantly, a sign of water to a weary desert traveler. In this episode, ecologist Jim Cornett joins host David Yetman for a look around California's Coachella Valley, the lowest and hottest inhabited place in the Northern Hemisphere. After a walk around Palm Springs to examine the area's most famous residents, Yetman heads for the largest undisturbed palm oasis on Earth, Palm Canyon. Yetman shows how to jump across the fault line that allows subterranean water to seep from the nearby mountains and helps the palms thrive in a seemingly dry area. This episode also features a trip to the Oasis Date Gardens, where the non-native date palms require constant human attention in order to produce their luscious fruits.