Super Bloom: SOLC 2019 Day 9

The desert is usually subtle.  Many shades of brown often characterize the plants and animals that live there.  Blending in is necessary for survival and adaptations for preserving water often mean staying small and skinny to prevent evaporation.  But when there is abundant rain in the winter, the desert can be a bit showy.  Super Bloom 2019 is underway!

We planned a desert hike for today, knowing that hiking would give us glimpses of the blooming desert while taking us away from more of the bloom tourists.  We got up and left the house early…appreciating the beauty of the sunrise as we drove toward the east.

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One of the perks of living in San Diego is that you can get to the ocean, mountains, and deserts in about two hours or less (if traffic cooperates).  We arrived in Borrego Springs before 8am and easily found parking near the Hellhole Canyon trailhead.

Many of the flowers were still asleep, tightly closed against the cool of the night.  As we walked, the desert slowly woke, stretching and unfolding in the gentle light of morning. Starting early meant having the desert mostly to ourselves, allowing the desert soundscape to fill our ears.  The caw of a bird called my attention to the hillside where I spotted a mama big horned sheep and her baby.  We watched and listened as they click clacked their way down the hillside.  I definitely envy their surefootedness!  A buzzing nearby had me turn my head where I spotted a beautiful tiny hummingbird sitting in a leafless tree. Painted lady butterflies played tag as they flitted from flower to flower to flower to flower. The trickle of water tinkled in the distance, growing to a burbling stream as we got closer to the oasis framed in native fan palms.  The outcome of abundant winter rain was in full view as we finally got to the maidenhead falls where water poured from over our heads into the running streams below.

The desert is carpeted in wildflowers right now.  Yellows and whites stand near purples and pinks.  Splashes of red and brilliant white blossoms punctuate the view.  Ocotillos are just started to bloom, along with the barrel cactus.  The prickly pears will be ready in a couple of week, judging from the emerging buds.

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The super bloom is just beginning and there is nothing like seeing the desert in its full color glory!  As the temperatures gently rise, the blossoms will continue to emerge.  If it doesn’t get too hot, the bloom may last through mid-April!  Today’s hike was perfect: a just-right physical challenge as we gradually climbed, scrambling up rocks as we approached the falls, like the sheep we saw earlier.  The weather was sunny, with coolish temperatures in the 60’s, and everywhere we looked, it was simply gorgeous!  It was a perfect Saturday adventure.

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13 thoughts on “Super Bloom: SOLC 2019 Day 9

  1. Catherine Nash

    How wonderful! The contrast of the desert landscape in full bloom with flowers is something I’d love to see. Thanks for the slice!

    Reply
  2. mbhmaine

    My Saturday adventure was in a snowy salt marsh. I loved traveling across the country to watch the desert awaken around you. Your vivid descriptions pulled me right in to this foreign-to-me landscape. And then you topped it off with some fabulous photos. What an incredible phenomenon to see! I was more than a wee bit envious!

    Reply
  3. lgrainger125

    Your photos and words give such life to an area that we with less experience of it think of brown and dull.

    Reply
  4. Jaana

    This is beautiful! I felt like I was hiking along and experiencing new things. Your photos also tell a story of beauty. Great way to begin my day! Thank you!

    Reply
  5. Terje

    The blue sky – amazing! Your words allow to picture the perfect Saturday adventure even when the degrees outside are freezing and there is no green yet, here in Estonia.

    Reply
  6. Cheryl Reynolds

    Your words allowed me to experience this bloom as if I were there with you. Last week, I saw a picture of the desert super bloom and was blown away by it. Your words brought it alive for me. Maybe one day I will get to experience too.

    Reply
  7. Pingback: Saturday Adventures Continued: SOLC 2019 Day 10 | Thinking Through My Lens

  8. Sheri Edwards

    Lovely! That last picture is a delight, a fairy garden waiting for a story, which you’ve begun. Washington State is similar to your area in that we have ocean, mountains, forests, and deserts all within 2-4 hours of us. We even have a temperate rainforest. In our area, near our semi-arid shrub steppe, the snow is retreating slowly each day the sun shines, though the temperatures are just around freezing. Loved learning about your desert! ~ Sheri

    Reply
    1. kd0602 Post author

      Thanks Sheri! That’s another thing I love about your area…the richness of the environment. I’ve been to Olympic National Park and the temperate rainforest–so amazing! There is just so much to explore (and photograph and write about) in this world of ours!

      Reply
  9. Pingback: California Poppies: SOLC 2019 Day 11 | Thinking Through My Lens

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