This desert in the Southwest is experiencing a wildflower ‘superbloom’

Discussion in 'The Bob Marshall Wilderness' started by Apocales, Mar 9, 2017.

  1. Apocales 4:35a.m. just one more episode..

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    Update March 8: The flowers are blooming now in Borrego Springs! This will be a "rolling bloom"; different areas will come into bloom at different times. The bloom will likely last for several weeks as different areas come into full bloom. The next couple of weeks should be prime time.

    Best recommendation for Drive-By/Easy Access Flowers: Starting at the ABDNHA Borrego Desert Nature Center to pick up a free flower location map, you’ll see our blooming Botanical Garden; then head north on Borrego Springs Road to see the metal statues.

    Recommended: Drive DiGiorgio Road to the end of the pavement, park, and get out to see up close Desert Lilies, Spectacle Pod, Sand Verbena, Desert Sunflowers. For those who want to drive the (2WD accessible) dirt road beyond the end of DiGiorgio Road into Coyote Canyon for a couple miles to “Desert Gardens,” you will see even more blooms (Poppies, Desert Dandelions, and just beginning to bloom are the Ocotillo and Beavertail Cactus).
    Recommended: Drive north on Borrego Springs Road to the point where it turns sharply to the right and heads east. Pull onto the dirt road on the left side of the road right at the turn. Park and walk around to see blooms and scultures.

    Arroyo Salado Campground: East on S22 to the Borrego Badlands and Arroyo Salado Campground to see lots of Desert Lilies beyond the last campsite.

    Easy Hiking: Henderson Canyon at the west end of Henderson Canyon Road (See Desert Lilies, Chicory, Phacelia, a variety of cactus, metal statues, and mountain views).

    Easy Hiking: Little Surprise Canyon on the west end of S22 about one-third mile south of Palm Canyon Drive (Ghost Flowers, Barrel Cactus, Desert Lavender, beautiful rocks and views on the return walk).

    If Mother Nature cooperates, we expect blooms for weeks ahead; we will keep you updated. It's important to know that the best flower viewing is in the morning. Many flowers close up during the heat of the day.

    Desert dandeliona along Borrego Springs Road by Tesa Silvesre
    Desert Floor covered with Monkey Flowers bu Amy Brewster.
    March 7, 2017
    Collins Valley - Box Canyon - Hiking Details
    Fred and Carla
    A trip to a tiny dry lake between Collins valley and Box canyon, in our second try to find Lepidium flavum felipense. It's very busy with all the tourist driving in Coyote canyon. Water in second crossing is still rather deep, we noticed the large number of cars parked before second crossing, a lot didn't want to try the crossing. Destination Box canyon and than climb up the rocky wall up to the playa. What we noticed from above the playa was very very green, but not the good kind of green. No trace of Lepidium flavum felipense and other plants that should grow besides it. That was very strange as on our previous hike we did find Sphaeralcea leaves, but now none to be found. Down the very steep and rocky drainage and down Lower Willows. The signs of the recent rain are very clear, the gully that is the hiking trail gets deeper and deeper. WOW what a high bloom count, we are getting closer to peak bloom.

    Parish's poppy, Eschscholzia parishii By Fred Melgert
    March 5, 2017
    Yaqui Meadow Loop - Hiking Details
    Fred and Carla A hike to one of our favorite spots. Starting on the "Yaqui Meadows Loop" and as the drainage narrows skipping over to the "Yaqui Meadows - Glorietta Wash" and finally completing the "Yaqui Meadows Loop". Trying to get the best of both hikes. Staggering fields of Bigelow's monkey flower, Mimulus bigelovii bigelovii (10000+), Ghost flower, Mohavea confertiflora (500+) and Parish's poppy, Eschscholzia parishii (1000+). Never seen such large fields of monkey flower and Ghost flower before. Most flower fields on the sun facing slopes and some on the flat rocky area's.

    Bigelow's monkey flower Photo by Fred Melgert
    Photo by Fred Melgert

    General Flower Update
    March 3, 2017
    Betsy Knaak - ABDNHA Executive Director
    For the full bloom, we are looking at mid-March, but will be watching each week. Flower location maps are now available at our ABDNHA Borrego Desert Nature Center at 652 Palm Canyon Drive.
    Photo by Judy Stewart posted to FB BorregoInSpringtime
    With over 7 inches of rain this season, the Borrego Desert is verdant green with flowers in stages of both bud and early bloom. We are on the "uphill side" of the peak bloom and experiencing more open flowers with each passing sunny day. We note a few locations where open flowers can be seen, especially for those willing to wander among the mix of buds and blooms. A top location is anywhere within a two-mile stretch of the Coyote Canyon Jeep Road, north of the north end of DiGiorgio Road with abundant Peirson’s Primoses and others, including a few remarkable Desert Lilies.

    Another worth a look is the Henderson Canyon Road with patches of pink Sand Verbena, Dune Evening Primroses with their wide white petals, yellow Desert Sunflowers beginning to bloom, and a few Desert Lilies. Around Borrego Springs, roadsides are lined with yellow Desert Dandelions and other wildflowers. These flowers are best seen in the morning, as some blossoms close in the afternoon.

    Tickets for our popular annual Borrego Desert Garden Tour on March 18 are now on sale. We have seven private desert gardens on the tour, along with several of the homes open to viewing. Tickets are available at the ABDNHA Nature Center and online at Early bird pricing is still in effect. While at the ABDNHA Nature Center, be sure to visit our Borrego Botanical Garden, where blue-purple Desert Canterbury Bells and two species of pink and coral Penstemon are in full bloom this week. Check out BorregoInSpringtime of Facebook - it's our online photo festival of Smartphone photography. We hope you’ll post your photos! The weather is still cool for hiking, and the blue skies and mountain views round out a day in the beautiful Borrego desert.

    March 1, 2017
    Blow Sand Canyon Loop -
    Hiking Details
    By Fred and Carla

    In Fault wash we found a big flower field of Notch leaf phacelia, Phacelia crenulata ambigua.
    We cut accross, Una Palma time for a short hike. Unfortunately the singe palm died in 2015.
    The goal was to find Mojave cleomella, Cleomella obtusifolia and we found plenty of those along our trail and the big surprise some in bloom.
    Desert lily, Hesperocallis undulata are there in high numbers as everywhere else.
    Desert sunflower, Geraea canescens, some in bloom, hundreds ready to go in the next weeks.
    Comment" The flower fields of Notch leaf Phacelia, crenulata ambigua, in the Borrego Badlands is a very rare event. To get there: Fonts point to short wash to Fault wash. 4WD preferred to get to the startiing point.
    Notch leaf phacelia, Phacelia crenulata ambigua by Fred Melgert

    Notch leaf phacelia, Phacelia crenulata ambigua by Fred Melgert

    Down the very wet Tule Wash, that was interesting driving a wash for the first time with no tire tracks and sinking a bit in the mud.
    Tule wash was filled with Orcutt's woody aster, Xylorhiza orcuttii, so that begs for a hike.
    Turning right on Pole line, HWY 78 west.
    The goal of this long drive was to find Western Sea-purslane, Sesuvium verrucosum in bloom, YES only the one plant we found before, in good bloom.
    What puzzled us was the bad bloom in the San Sebastian wash, bloom was much better last year.
    Later back to the linanthus jonesii and close to 5 p.m. we found one plant in bloom, added another blooming plant to our list.
    February 28, 2017
    A very nice shot of Dune Evening ******** in the area along Henderson Canyon Road. The Henderson Canyon Road area is often one of the most popular areas during major blooms because of the fields of flowers. This area is not "there" yet, just isolated plants in bloom, but there are lots of plants set to pop whenever the weather turns hot.

    more pics --
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