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Just got back from a six day tour of the desert in California and Arizona. The wildflowers are out in force in many places but not so good as forecast in others. Death Valley was as good as advertised (except for the weather--overcast). It was also full of people. I had to camp in the overflow lot. Flowers were mostly concentrated around Ashford Mill to the south. The flowers should still be good for awhile longer. Saw only one other large formatter, though. The poppy reserve in Antelope Valley was just starting to fire up. Some hillsides just outside it were great. Surprisingly (based on comments on the forum), the best wildflowers may have been at Joshua tree. An incredible of variety of flowers from Cholla Garden down to the south entrance. A few great fields of lupines as well. I got there just before the storm hit LA last week. Not very many people, either. On the negative side, much of Arizona is below par. Nothing at Organ Pipe and very little at either Saguaro park. Someone with an Ebony camera was at Saguaro East but I left quickly. Picacho Peak has some flowers but not outstanding. The best place was along the Apache Trail from Lost Dutchman and up the canyon. Lost Dutchman was a blast to photograph, particularly with my only good sunset of the trip. Also, a poppy field was exploding off one of the side roads off Rte 88 before Canyon Lake. Western Arizona and Lake Meade in Nevada was not bad either. Hopefully, got some good shots.
Just back from Death Valley. Yup, a ton of people, disappointing weather. Just as an FYI: Zabriskie point is closed, Artists' drive is closed, and a few other minor side roads are closed as well. Flood damage has made these trails unsafe even for hiking, or so the rangers says.
Thanks Derek - I'm not going to be out that way for a few more weeks, but hopefully there will still be something blooming.
Robert A. Zeichner
I plan to be in DV on Thursday, April 21st and Friday, April 22nd. This will be my 8th foray into this area. Anyone else planning to be there at that time?
I'll be in the Texas Hill Country around Wimberley next week and am hoping to get some wildflower shots with my 4x5 outfit (if I survive TSA). Are there many flowers blooming during the last week of March?
You just might be a week, or ten days too early.
Dang Ben, What the heck is here in Wimberley to do??
Actually, I saw some Bluebonnets out in force somewhere around here just the other day. There are plenty of other flowers out doing their thing as well, but I haven't paid real close attention this year. Should be a real good year for them things though, as we have had a little rain.
I was afraid that I might be too early, Eugene. My in-laws, who live in Wimberley, warned me of that, too. Maybe I'll find a few early bloomers.
The dandilions are starting to bloom in my front yard. From the looks of it, it's going to be quite a presentation. Boy if word gets out I'm going to have a real crowd control and parking problem. Of course I'll give the members of this forum and other large formatters first crack at the prime spots. I can see the mail box is going to be popular.
Here (http://www.desertusa.com) is a link to a wildflower report. Click in the menu.
John Berry ( Roadkill )
Dee, yer killin me. I'm still laughing. John
Curious that I went exactly to the same places. I agree that Joshua Tree near the south entrance was pretty good, but everywhere else this could be much better yet.
I have been told that at Organ Pipe, there was a heat wave just the week before I (an probably you too) came followed by colder
days, and that killed all the poppies. Before that, places like the hillside at stop #10 on Ajo Mountain Drive were supposedly covered with carpets of poppies. As for Lost Dutchman SP, I was there on March 21st in the evening, and I was extremely disappointed not to see anything besides the (very common) brittlebush, while the highway sides were covered with poppies and lupines.
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