An artist palette of wildflowers carpets the desert
Who would ever imagine the splendor of wildflowers filling the landscape in one of the hottest and driest places on Earth? During February of 2016 Death Valley National Park has been accented with an abundance of desert flowers, also coined as a Super Bloom.
Death Valley is a national park in the U. S. and located in the states of California and Nevada. Covering an area of 5,219 mi², Death Valley is east of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and in the Mojave Desert.
An El Niño weather pattern over the winter brought storms and rain to the area. The rainfall soaked the dry desert which allowed for the numerous flower seeds that have been lying dormant to germinate.
It is a rare occurrence when so many desert flowers bloom around the same time.
The wildflowers first begin to bloom in the lower elevations where the temperatures are warmer, filling the rugged desert ground with golden blooms.
Desert Gold Sunflowers and Golden Evening Primrose (Camissonia brevipes) blanket the slopes with the picturesque Black Mountains in the background. The colorful rocks are the result of oxidation with different metals, (red, pink and yellow from iron salts; green is decomposing tuff-derived mica, and manganese produces the purple).
Purple Notchleaf Phacelia (Phacelia crenulata) accent the harsh landscape around the salt flats of Badwater Basin.
Badwater Basin lies 279 feet (85 m) below sea level and usually only receives an average of 2 inches of rain a year.
The abundance of wildflowers in 2016 Super Bloom includes at least 20 different species and their sweet fragrance is almost overwhelming and like being in a formal garden.
Traveling up to the higher elevations where the temperatures are cooler, different species of flowers were found to be in bloom.
Along the Beatty Cut-Off Road accents of yellow and purple thrive in the rocky terrain.
Brilliant Yellow Cups seem to glow in the morning sun.
One of my favorite wildflowers due to its blue-lavender color is the Blue Phacelia or Wild Heliotrope.
This profusion of desert wildflowers will only last while the temperatures are mild and I was very fortunate to time my visit before the ones at the lower elevations began to fade. At this time in mid-February many of the Primrose had already started to bolt.
Follow my Photo-adventures Blog and check back for my next post where I will give more information, plus macro shots of the different species that I found.
No images on this blog are within Public Domain.
With my Nikon and tripod, my goal is to recreate the scene as it appears in nature, to preserve in a photographic image the awesome, yet simplistic beauty of the scene that waits around a bend or over a hill. Sometimes it's a colorful landscape, and many times I'm allowed in the presence of the numerous creatures that adapt to life in the wild.
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