Bad News, Good News

The first week of March there were news reports about a “superbloom” of wildflowers in Death Valley. Since I had an airline credit to use, it was an easy decision to fly out and spend a few days there, just me and the camera.

I arrived late on Monday, March 7 to find the show not as spectacular as the news articles suggested. On March 9, an update was posted at the Furnace Creek Visitor Center. The bad news: hot weather and a windstorm had damaged the flowers before my arrival. The good news: there were still plenty of flowers to see. And since I had never visited that part of the country, it was all new to me.

I believe I found about 30 different species of plants flowering, but I’m only just starting to go through the photos to identify them.  It’s a good way to pass time while sitting in an airport lounge awaiting the flight home.

Here’s a teaser: flowers in the badlands area of the Black Mountains near Artist’s Palette.  This view is looking southwest toward the Panamint range, with snow-covered Telescope Peak in the distance.  The yellow blossoms are desert sunflowers, aka desert gold (Geraea canescens, Asteraceae).  Also visible are the white-flowering gravel ghost (Atrichoseris platyphylla, Asteraceae) and purple caltha-leaved phacelia (Phacelia calthifolia, Hydrophyllaceae).

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