Tracking the Bloom

California had a very wet year—finally!—and the wildflowers are blooming like crazy. Bob Wick, a wilderness specialist with the Bureau of Land Management, who took the above two photos in the Carrizo Plain National Monument of California’s Central Valley remarked that “the Valley floor has endless expanses of yellows and purples from coreopsis, tidy tips and phacelia, with smaller patches of dozens of other species… [and] the Temblor Range is painted with swaths of orange, yellow and purple like something out of a storybook. I have never seen such a spectacular array of blooms. Ever.”

It looks like someone dropped paint from the air to color the hills, doesn’t it? Incredible!

The “superbloom” first gained notice in the desert, colors blanketing the hills and valleys of Anza-Borrego near Palm Springs, and in Death Valley. It has since migrated north—the flowers in the Antelope Valley California State Poppy Reserve in Lancaster have put on a brilliant show of reds and oranges, expected to last through the middle of the month. The Carrizo Plain is about 170 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles and might be in bloom for another two weeks.

You can actually call into an annual spring wildflower hotline and hear Emmy-nominated Joe Spano (this is Southern California, after all) give an update on the best places to see spring flowers.

I started realizing the extent of it seeing tons of images like the ones above on Instagram.  Here, respectively: film prints by @yasminemei, swarms of visitors captured by @jessechamberlin, and @thelittlest carefully keeping to the path in a shot by @morganpansing.

You can take a look for more under hashtags like #trackthebloom or #superbloom. 

Here’s a link to the visitor page for Carrizo National Monument. Just be careful if you do decide to visit in person, and stay on the marked trails, as the flowers and lands are fragile.

Here’s a post I wrote last year about where to find wildflowers blooming in the spring, and a couple of photos from our local hills.

Has anyone visited the Central Valley to see the display? It makes me want to hit the road! 

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