Blooming in Storm
The heavy rains this fall around the Death Valley region raised many hopes for a good wildflower season, and these hopes are now being fulfilled. Greg Russell and I took a trip to southern Death Valley last week, and found substantial amounts of desert gold already in flower. Sand verbena and brown-eyed primroses were also beginning to make an appearance. But even more promising were the millions of healthy green shoots springing from the endless gravel. They were particularly prolific on one of the large alluvial fans spilling from the Black Mountains, with sweeping views down the valley to the Owlshead Range.
It’s worth pointing out that it takes a pretty thick field of flowers to show up well in most pictures – the blooms shown here were even better in person!
I’ve never seen limestone such a brilliant orange as in this section of the Black Mountains.
The clouds were thick, but we did see a brief display of light as a sunset beam broke through the storm.
As we were leaving, light rain began falling. It continued throughout the day, and the clouds thickened towards evening as mist began to wrap the mountains and badlands. All those young plants received another timely dose of moisture, so I expect the wildflower show will get better and better.