2019 desert wildflower bloom

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SSSdave
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2019 desert wildflower bloom

Post by SSSdave » Sat Feb 02, 2019 6:15 pm

Image

I am always keeping on top of weather in our deserts in years like this in order to do trips down south. And how I love camping about remote dirt road areas of a greening desert at his time of year. 2017 was exceptional and this winter of 2019 is now suddenly looking much better than 6 weeks ago. This recent 5 week period from mid January is always one of the most important each winter for supercharging germanated seeds ready for such blooms and 2019 storms have been delivering. After this current storm exits leaving snow down into our foothills, am going to be enjoying some fresh powder skiing Tuesday till will decide. Then next weekend will size up when to head south to TR and AB to hit the bloom peak spurt from the current rains so somewhere mid February. In 2017 we were down there at a more advanced stage, mid March. If rains continue and media and people again take notice, by early March there will be vastly more people suddenly in those areas versus mid Feb.

https://www.desertusa.com/wildflo/ca_abdsp.html








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John Harper
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Re: 2019 desert wildflower bloom

Post by John Harper » Mon Feb 04, 2019 8:23 am

It should be awesome this year, we've got about 2+ inches of rain above normal down here in the San Diego area.

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Re: 2019 desert wildflower bloom

Post by SSSdave » Mon Feb 04, 2019 10:26 am

Yaquii Meadows wash at Anza Borrego SP March 2017.

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maverick
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Re: 2019 desert wildflower bloom

Post by maverick » Mon Feb 04, 2019 2:23 pm

Keeping my eyes on the precip totals at/near Carrizo Plain NM, looks like we are heading quickly towards what is require for a super bloom to materialize, hopefully we will have an even better showing than 2010 or 2017. :nod:
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Re: 2019 desert wildflower bloom

Post by SSSdave » Thu Feb 14, 2019 1:56 pm

Current warm atmospheric river aka AR storm, is drenching California including widespread southern desert areas. National news this evening will be showing flooding, mudslides, and whatnot. Wettest spot in the SFBA region has already recorded over 12 inches of rain. Even nearly 3 inches in the city of Palm Springs with more rain still falling.

Rather certain now there will be a strong wildflower bloom in much of our our deserts that before this event already was looking at a pretty decent bloom. Plants already risen will quickly become large and robust while a new denser crop will rise within a couple weeks likely peaking early to mid March. With the large seed bank in the ground from the massive 2017 superbloom, this year just 2 years hence may be even better. My first road trip less than a couple weeks hence will likely be to Cottonwood Bajada in southern JT and then down to Anza Borrego.

If one has 4WD/AWD, disperse camping in our greening deserts late winter after big rains is about as good as it gets.

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Re: 2019 desert wildflower bloom

Post by balzaccom » Thu Feb 14, 2019 10:52 pm

We often try to fit in a trip to the desert this time of year, and now that we're retired, it seemed like a good idea. We hopped in Le Vin Blanc and headed South, stopping to stay once again at Red Rock State Park for the first night. It was beautiful, as always, and pretty damn cold--25 Degrees F. Froze the water in our five gallon jerry can, and frosted the windows quite effectively the next morning!

From there we wandered around Ridgecrest for most of the day, poking into Randsburg and Red Mountain, the Maturango Museum, the BLM office, and Fossils Falls to do a bit of hiking. All fun. And we were invited to a rather posh dinner that night in Ridgecrest, with Champagne, cassoulet, 1977 Cab in a six liter bottle, 1937 Port...and great conversation as well. That was a night to remember.

The next day we had a reservation at Furnace Creek campground, and went there via Ballarat, Wildrose, Emigrant, and more. Some of those roads were not open the last time we tried them, and that led to some adventures. This time it was a more sedate journey. The weather in Death Valley was wild. The following day there were up to 50 mph winds, with guests to 70 mph. and that kept us hiking in Titus Canyon to escape the worst of it. And that was followed by rain. Yep, we got rained on in Death Valley! It was more of a sprinkle where we were, but we could see heavier rains in the mountains, and we imagine there were a few canyons that got flushed as a result. And the clouds at sunset were spectacular.

A good weather day followed that, and we explored the Southern end of the park, hiking into Ashford Mine Canyon--a great hike with stunning mosaics and nice old mining sites. But just as we were settling in for more hiking, the weather turned even worse, and predictions were for steady rains the following day. Nuts.

We headed south via Greenwater Canyon Road, stopping to see the newly refurbished Zabriskie Point and the sights from Dante's View, neither of which disappointed. From there it was about 30 miles of washboard down to Shoshone, and Tecopa Springs (gravel parking lots surrounded a few hot springs) and a really fun visit to China Ranch Date Farm, complete with a really nice hike along the Amargosa River and a date shake, to boot.

But we were struggling with the weather. We had hoped to do some dispersed camping off some of the dirt roads in the park or the surrounding BLM land, but with rain seriously in the forecast, we were hesitant about getting trapped in a muddy mess, or behind a flooding gully. So we drove around a bit, and finally ended up staying at the Hotel California in Nipton. What a wild and wonderful place that is! Highly recommended for both style and comfort. And $65 a night for the two of us including a light breakfast.

We spent the next morning trying to found our way around the Mojave Preserve, getting rained on, and deciding after lunch that we had had enough. In Barstow we were 6 1/2 hours from home, and it was just after lunch.

The last half of the drive was through the first big showers of the next storm, and we got home just in time to enjoy a soft bed. And we have a ton of things we learned on this trip and want to explore the next time we're down that way---hopefully with slightly better weather!

The photos are here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/ZpvtoeEaV2hqQKfE7
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Re: 2019 desert wildflower bloom

Post by SSSdave » Thu Feb 14, 2019 11:25 pm

Thanks balzaccom for sharing your trip pics, our first report of this late winter! As has been reported, DV rainfall has not been enough to green areas up much though the modest rains during your recent adventure should improve those amazing places by early March. If you two decide on an early March road trip to southern JT, I'll PM great areas for a base camp on obscure dirt roads outside the park.

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Re: 2019 desert wildflower bloom

Post by TehipiteTom » Wed Feb 20, 2019 6:37 am

I'm heading down there in mid-March, planning to cover as broad an area and elevation range as possible in a 5-day trip. Joshua Tree, Anza-Borrego, Thousand Palms, and points surrounding and in between (as well as non-wildflower photo ops like Slab City and Bombay Beach). Maybe on the way home check out Antelope Valley and Arthur Ripley, Wind Wolves, and Carrizo Plain (though I expect peak is a ways away).

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Re: 2019 desert wildflower bloom

Post by bobby49 » Wed Feb 20, 2019 2:39 pm

Not Death Valley?

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Re: 2019 desert wildflower bloom

Post by TehipiteTom » Wed Feb 20, 2019 5:18 pm

bobby49 wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 2:39 pm
Not Death Valley?
Apparently Death Valley has had below-average rainfall this season, and nobody's expecting a great bloom there.

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