OAUSA Net - February 20, 2020 - Destinations: Spring Wildflowers

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OAUSA Net - February 20, 2020 - Destinations: Spring Wildflowers

#1

Post by DaveK » Wed Feb 19, 2020 4:18 pm

Destinations: Spring Wildflowers

Wildflower blooms are the creation of a mix of environmental conditions including rain, when the rain occurs, how much occurs, temperatures, previous years conditions, sunlight, and more. At least here in the South West, it hasn't been a particularly wet season. While this is not the sole determinant of blooms, it is very important, and it does not mean that there will not be blooms. If the remainder of the winter remains as "dry, " as it has been, this will have an effect on the quantity, but they will still be there. For those whose idea of an adventure is remote location travel, finding blooms can be just as rewarding as visiting the places that are identified on the internet, in hotlines, or in parks.

The popularity of wildflower seasons has increased significantly in the last decade or so, with many parks featuring hotlines and recommendations on the areas best to visit. While desert wildflower blooms seem to be the most popular, they are, by no means, the only pace to visit. And, it merits emphasis, that wildflower blooms are not confined to places identified by the various park or adventure websites. We have found that some of the best locations are those we discover by exploration, or in back country locations we have visited.

Let there be no mistake about this Spring event, it is a photographers paradise. TRANSLATION: If you have some shots of past visits, let us see them!!!
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Re: OAUSA Net - February 20, 2020 - Destinations: Spring Wildflowers

#2

Post by DaveK » Thu Feb 20, 2020 11:20 am

General Wildflower Locations

The terms "desert" and "wildflower" are often found together, but that is by no means the only climates or zones where they are to be found. Mountain areas can also be a source of blooms, not to mention great adventures.

The deserts however, offer more opportunities to enjoy this spring event. For the American South West, there are vast areas that are considered deserts, included in the states of Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, and California. In particular, some of the largest deserts in the USA are the Mojave, covering some 54,000 square miles, the Sonoran, covering some 100,000 square miles, and the Great Basin, covering some 190,000 square miles.

In the images below, you can see the general boundaries of the Mojave, the Sonoran, and the Great Basin Deserts, and it is easy to see that there are many areas where wildflowers can be found. This is clearly not a "California" only phenomenon, as these deserts cover vast areas of the USA, including parts of Utah, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Idaho, Utah, and yes, California.

The popularity of Wildflower viewing has increased so much in recent times, that hotlines, park information, and internet adventure sites are great sources of information that you can consult to see where the best areas are to be found, near where you live.

Mojave Desert Boundaries.jpg
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Sonoran Desert Map.jpg
Sonoran Desert Map.jpg (202.86 KiB) Viewed 248 times
Great Basin.jpg
Great Basin.jpg (10.63 KiB) Viewed 248 times
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Re: OAUSA Net - February 20, 2020 - Destinations: Spring Wildflowers

#3

Post by DaveK » Thu Feb 20, 2020 11:41 am

Specific Wildflower Locations

Here is current information and some links to the agencies responsible for managing the parks and areas where flowers are either in bloom or are expected to be in bloom:

1. Anza Borrego Desert State Park (from their website, http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=638)

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is the largest state park in California. Five hundred plus miles of dirt roads, 12 wilderness areas and many miles of hiking trails provide visitors with an unparalleled opportunity to experience the wonders of the California Desert.

Current conditions are: (http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=28694)
February 17, 2020: Anza-Borrego Desert State Park Wildflower Update

While we haven’t had enough rain to bring on a “superbloom” in the Park this year, there are a few areas where you can find a sprinkling of annual wildflowers. Desert Gold Poppies, Phacelia, and a variety of tiny “belly flowers” are starting to make their appearance near the Visitor Center and on low rocky hillsides. Little Surprise Canyon, the Yaqui Well Trail, and Cactus Loop Trail are worth exploring. Fishhook cacti are especially abundant (and in bloom!) along the Yaqui Well Trail.

Park at the end of the pavement at the north end of DiGiorgio Road and walk up the 4WD Coyote Canyon Road for a few lilies and a scattering of annuals. And a small pocket of wildflowers is blooming near the east end of Henderson Canyon, just west of the “PegLeg” area.

Check back in a week and see what has developed!

2. California Poppy Reserve - http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=627

From their website:

This State Natural Reserve is located on California's most consistent poppy-bearing land. Other wildflowers: owl's clover, lupine, goldfield, cream cups, and coreopsis, to name a few, share the desert grassland to produce a mosaic of color and fragrance each spring.

Current conditions are:
Wildflower update February 16, 2020: The first few poppies are in bloom near Kitanemuk Vista Point, on the south-facing side. Fiddlenecks, slender keel fruits, red maids and forget-me-nots are also blooming in a few places on the reserve.

Poppies open up in mid morning, and curl up in the late afternoon/evening or if it’s cold, so check the weather forecast before leaving. The weather can change suddenly and it is frequently windy here during the spring. This is a DESERT grassland, so drink water often. Note that it can be very windy here in the spring.

3. Carrizo Plain National Monument https://www.blm.gov/visit/carrizo-plain ... l-monument

From their website:
The Carrizo Plain National Monument, located 100 airline miles (160 km) from Los Angeles, is an area by-passed by time. Soda Lake, its centerpiece, is a glistening bed of white salt, set within a vast open grassland, rimmed by steep mountains. The plain is home to diverse communities of wildlife and plant species, is an area culturally important to Native Americans, and is traversed by the San Andreas fault, which has created and moved mountain ranges, carved valleys and is marked by a subtle alignment of ridges, ravines and pools.
Current conditions are:
Currently as of March 29, 2019
The wildflowers are stunning at Carrizo Plain National Monument with more blooming daily on the valley floor and mountain ranges. Gold fields, Tidy Tips and Phacilia continue to bloom.

4. Death Valley (https://www.nps.gov/deva/learn/nature/wildflowers.htm)

From their website:
Death Valley is famous for its spectacular, spring wildflower displays, but those are the exception, not the rule. Only under perfect conditions does the desert fill with a sea of gold, purple, pink or white flowers. Although there are years where blossoms are few, they are never totally absent.

Fleeting Beauty
Most of the showy desert wildflowers are annuals, also referred to as ephemerals because they are short-lived. Oddly enough, this limited lifespan ensures survival here. Rather than struggle to stay alive during the desert’s most extreme conditions, annual wildflowers lie dormant as seeds. When enough rain finally does fall, the seeds quickly sprout, grow, bloom and go back to seed again before the dryness and heat returns. By blooming enmasse during good years, wildflowers can attract large numbers of pollinators such as butterflies, moths, bees and hummingbirds that might not otherwise visit Death Valley.
Current conditions are:
2020 Wildflower Update
We are not expecting a superbloom this year, but should have a variety of wildflowers in
different areas of the park.

5. Joshua Tree NP See: http://www.nps.gov/jotr/planyourvisit/blooms.htm

From their website:
Wildflowers may begin blooming in the lower elevations of the Pinto Basin and along the park's south boundary in February and at higher elevations in March and April. Desert regions above 5,000 feet may have plants blooming as late as June.

The extent and timing of spring wildflower blooms in Joshua Tree vary from one year to the next. Fall and winter precipitation and spring temperatures are key environmental factors affecting the spring blooming period. Normally, desert annuals germinate between September and December. Many need a good soaking rain to get started. In addition to rains at the right time, plants also require temperatures to warm a bit before flower stalks will grow. Green-leaf rosettes may cover the ground in January, but flower stalks wait until temperatures rise.
Current conditions: No reports at this time


6. Mojave National Preserve

Current conditions: No reports at this time.


Excellent source of additional information

The following list is, at best, just a small sampling of the best places to visit for the Spring Wildflower bloom. For your location, a little bit of research will get you some great places to visit that are close to home.

Desert USA: https://www.desertusa.com/wildflo/wildupdates.html
Wildflower Search: https://wildflowersearch.org/
Where to Find Wildflowers: https://www.sciencefriday.com/articles/ ... -weigh-in/
Wildflower Viewing Areas: https://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/viewing/all.php
10 Best: https://www.fodors.com/news/outdoors/am ... ildflowers
Arizona Guide: https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/d ... 245144002/



Other useful links:
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Re: OAUSA Net - February 20, 2020 - Destinations: Spring Wildflowers

#4

Post by toms » Thu Feb 20, 2020 12:46 pm

I took this picture yesterday in the Carrizo Plains National Monument. Grabbed it through the windshield. Those are bug streaks.
I saw the same flowers in Ballenger OHV. And some California poppies were growing by the side of the road on the slopes of the central valley.
Not at peak yet but on the way.
Carrizo Plains 2-19-20 2m.jpg
Carrizo Plains 2-19-20 2m.jpg (302.48 KiB) Viewed 246 times


The Carrizo Plain across, in southeastern San Luis Obispo County, California, about 100 miles northwest of Los Angeles. It contains the 246,812-acre Carrizo Plain National Monument, and it is the largest single native grassland remaining in California. Wikipedia

Rough directions- Take I-5 north to Route 166 west and look for the entrance on the right.

This is what we are waiting for. This picture is from the internet.
Carrizo Super Bloom.jpg
Carrizo Super Bloom.jpg (199.12 KiB) Viewed 246 times
by: McGucken Golden Ratio Phi Art Design Photography, Nov 15, 2017
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Re: OAUSA Net - February 20, 2020 - Destinations: Spring Wildflowers

#5

Post by DaveK » Thu Feb 20, 2020 1:56 pm



Some of the most rewarding wildflower finds are those that you come upon by exploring. Often this means on a hike, on four wheel drive excursions, driving to your favorite remote campsite, or along dirt roads that traverse your favorite desert or mountain areas. These are just some examples of my finds in my favorite desert.

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If you can catch it, Joshua Tree blooms are quite spectacular
Forest.jpg
Forest.jpg (908.48 KiB) Viewed 243 times
Joshua Tree flower.jpg
Joshua Tree flower.jpg (19.08 KiB) Viewed 243 times

Anza Borrego is a great place to find Ocotillos in bloom:

Ocotillo.jpg
Ocotillo.jpg (8.39 KiB) Viewed 243 times

As amazing as it seems, one of the most spectacular wildflowers comes from the nasty little Cholla cactus:

Cholla blooms.jpg
Cholla blooms.jpg (89.27 KiB) Viewed 243 times
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Re: OAUSA Net - February 20, 2020 - Destinations: Spring Wildflowers

#6

Post by Wildland909 » Thu Feb 20, 2020 5:11 pm

Check me in please.....KN6FPT

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Re: OAUSA Net - February 20, 2020 - Destinations: Spring Wildflowers

#7

Post by k9atk » Thu Feb 20, 2020 6:54 pm

Early check inns
K9fog trish KD0EXI CHEYENNE K9ATK BRIAN
KD0GPE AUSTIN AND KD0RHA TYLER
THANKS

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Re: OAUSA Net - February 20, 2020 - Destinations: Spring Wildflowers

#8

Post by Geoff » Thu Feb 20, 2020 7:09 pm

Please check me in.
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Re: OAUSA Net - February 20, 2020 - Destinations: Spring Wildflowers

#9

Post by KA9WDX » Thu Feb 20, 2020 7:15 pm

Check in - Thanks - Bernie

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Re: OAUSA Net - February 20, 2020 - Destinations: Spring Wildflowers

#10

Post by Diesel4x » Thu Feb 20, 2020 7:22 pm

Thanks for early check in, KF6KOC Randy.

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