This is the first of my 3 Wildflower Updates for the 2019 season and boy was it a season!
Winter Rains throughout all of California and especially into Southern California were plentiful so really you could AND still can go to any area of Southern California and just see spectacular blooms. Some were Superblooms, some were just very good and welcome after the 2018 Season.
I’ll Start in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, centered around my home town of Borrego Springs. 2017 was a standout Super Bloom Year with spectacular blooms everywhere and tourists like this town has NEVER seen. 5 Mile backups on the two roads into town, Restaurants running out of food and a definite lack of restrooms taxed the area. But the Bloom WAS spectacular and the beast since 2005.
2018… an completely opposite situation with only 1.87″ of rain for the entire rain season of September to May. It was a Super Brown Dirt Bloom
But starting in Late September and mid October 2018, Parts of The Anza-Borrego desert got intense rains of over an inch…you may think that’s not a lot of rain but for a desert with concrete like dry sand, It’s a lot and there was much flooding, Specifically in the Clarks Lake Overlook area(Truckhaven Trail) , Ocotillo Wells, Coachwhip Canyon and parts in the south of the park, particularly, June Wash. This was a little unusual as we are not really a Monsoonal area. So with this VERY early Rain (Our winter rain season mostly starts in December – March) We had VERY early bloom. I started seeing blooms in warmer hillsides and washes as early as December!
The rains continued fairly well into January and with a little warm weather, that prompted a very nice bloom in all the areas that got the early season rain. It was a beautiful bloom but mostly restricted to those areas. As I headed off for my annual trip to Death Valley, I thought that would be it. But when I got back the areas started getting more rain and in the more general and usual parts of the park, Those rains got much heavier into March and March provided a quite spectacular second bloom and lengthened the time for the areas already in bloom. Was it a super bloom?Kinda. But certain areas like Henderson Canyon road and the Pegleg section just didn’t live up to the splendor of previous super blooms. So, I think. It was a Bloom, a normal bloom. We have gotten so used to NO BLOOM because of the 8 year drought. We kinda forgot that blooms are just normal here in the Anza-Borrego Desert…with “Normal ” rains. We ended the season so far with 6.26″. For us that is a lot
Here are a number of images, taken in different area and some that never got published to IG so they will be new to most of you