The Digital Photo Guy

Desert Wildflowers Are Blooming or Maybe Not…

by on Mar.07, 2009, under Articles

I’m writing this update from Anza-Borrego Desert State Park where I’m getting ready to go look for wildflowers. Yesterday, on my way back from Arizona, I stopped by Joshua Tree NP and drove as far north as Conttonwood campground. There are definite signs of a spring wildflowers but they’re still pretty scrawny. The desert lupines are sparse and standing about 4″-5″ tall where past displays have been thick and lush, standing 10″-12″. There were lots of chia that looked as if they had been killed by a frost and the live ones seemed pretty forlorn.

A weathered, leathered desert rat of the female variety flagged me down and told me the road ahead was washed out. She and her older but very well maintained RV were camped just outside the south entrance to Joshua Tree NP. By her reckoning, the full spring wildflower display wouldn’t happen for for another 2-3 weeks.

To the east of JTNP, below 2000′ elevation, the bloom was in full swing. Along the freeway, I could see bladderpods, brittlebush, sand verbena, chuparosa, desert lupines, California poppies (in AZ they’re called Arizona poppies, duh!) and other SCBs (small colorful bushes).

Here are some lupines I found just outside my RV this morning as I made photos of the sun rising over the mountains to the east. The sand verbena and desert gold were along Henderson Canyon Road in Borrego Springs.

Lupine    More Lupines    Sand Verbena   Desert Gold    Desert Gold    Carpet of Desert Gold

I removed a dead stalk in front of the lupines using the Clone Tool and cropped to remove the RV parked next to me. Otherwise, I just adjusted Levels. I didn’t even have to remove dust bunnies. The sand verbena and desert gold were cropped, levels adjusted and sharpened.

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1 Comment for this entry

  • Dick

    Hi Lee,
    Rikki & I were in Anza Borrego yesterday (Sunday 8th) the flowers were/are great at the south end, but fading fast as you go north. Except Ocotillos had yet to bloom or very few, in either place.


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