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Showing posts with the label wildflowers

Saddleback Butte State Park

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Goldfield wildflowers, sand verbena, creosote bushes, and Joshua trees adorn Saddleback Butte State Park in the Mojave Desert.  The park is one of several desert parks that face closure according to Governor Brown's list of 70 state parks proposed for the chopping block





Spring Blooms

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Pollination in action as a bee visits phacelia (lace-leafed?) in the Newberry Mountains Wilderness Area of the Mojave Desert.

Desert Wildflowers Begin to Bloom

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It's that time of year.  After heavy rains in late December, and some smaller showers in February, the desert wildflowers have begun to bloom.   I find the best source for updates on the status of the bloom is the Desert USA website, which posts photos and information submitted by readers who are fanning out across the Mojave and Sonoran deserts.  The updates are organized by region and park, although some areas are not updated as frequently as others.

You can also visit the Anza Borrego blog for updates on widlflower blooms in the vicinity of Anza Borrego State Park.  Apparently there are some great blooms in the Sonoran Desert, and the blog has some amazing photos to back it up. 

Throughout the California deserts, the lower elevation areas are probably the best bet for a fuller bloom right now.  High elevation deserts might need some more time to catch up.   Stay tuned...





Desert Rain: The Sequel

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The Mojave Desert is receiving another round of rain showers tonight, with chances of rain forecast for next week, as well.  Readers of this blog and residents of Southern California will remember the nearly 5 days of rain showers that pounded the desert in late December, setting the stage for a potentially great wildflower season this spring.  Todays rains could improve our chances for a good show. 

Desert Rain

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The Mojave Desert has been pounded by nearly 5 days of rain showers that could result in another beautiful wildflower bloom next spring.   As noted in Chris Clarke's Coyote Crossing, the downside is that invasive plants also benefit from the rains, and could lead to a bad wildfire season.  Indigenous plant species do not provide as much fuel for wildfires as some of the non-indigenous species (and are less nutritious for foraging animals like the desert tortoise), and previous rainy seasons were followed by wildfires that can wipe out acres of old-growth vegetation that will not grow back quickly.

Below are some pictures of the swollen Mojave River as it passes through Victorville, California on Wednesday.  The photographs were taken during a break in the weather, but heavy showers resumed in the Western Mojave Desert on Wednesday night.