Monday, March 7, 2016

And Yet It Blooms

Some years much more than others.

This was one of those years. And the reason we were there.

It is a 'Super Bloom' year. One that comes along every ten years or so. The last was in 2005. The one before that in 1998.

A super bloom requires regular rain, at least once a month over the winter and into the spring. And with the El NiƱo that has happened this year. In October  2015 the rains started with just under three inches, an amount that usually takes the whole year to fall in Death Valley. And then more rain fell throughout the winter.

The result: We saw over twenty species in bloom over the weekend.

But the dominant species, the yellow flower in these pictures, is the Desert Gold, Geraea canescens.

They were everywhere.

Image Courtesy Patty Rehn
In the image above I am in a field of flowers that is over four miles long, from mile markers 23 to 27 along Badwater Road. And this was just one such area.

It was truly amazing.

We were lucky that we got to see it. But as the saying goes luck favors the prepared mind.

So when we learned last autumn that this could be a super bloom year, we started planning. We researched places to stay, best times to go, flights and so forth, to be prepared should we need to pull the trigger.

And then it rained in the first week of February. And the bloom was on. So on February ninth we booked the last room in the park, at Furnace Creek Ranch. But it was still uncertain when the peak bloom would occur. We could have been early or late for the peak.

And we only had a weekend to be there. Much too short for this kind of thing. But it all worked out, and we got to see it.


Chesney said...

Stunning pics...I want to be there!

MevetS said...

Tammy, there's still time. Get going!