Flowers, flowers, and more flowers. An unusual sight most of the time in Death Valley. If you see them, it will be in the Spring – but only if conditions are right. And this year conditions were definitely favorable. Death Valley saw a fair amount of rain over the past few months. Here you see a large patch of Desert Gold up on a hillside (near Natural Bridge), with the salt basin and the Panamint Mountains in the background. Note the snow still visible on the high peaks.
Rain was still a threat, in fact, the first two days we were there. We got hit with “sprinkles” a couple of times, but no heavy rain. Most of the precipitation appeared to be restricted to the higher elevations.
Desert Gold was by far the most common wildflower in the park. What made this year unusual was (1) the number of them, (2) the size of the flower, and (3) the height of the plant. Most were much taller – with bigger blooms – than normal.
There was some variety, though. I’m not sure exactly what this one was (a flower expert I’m not), but it was certainly pretty.
It was difficult, in my opinion, to capture in a photograph the extent of this wildflower explosion. Your eyes seemed better able to record these vibrant colors than the camera’s sensor. This view, taken along the road to Beatty, NV, was simply striking when we first saw it. The flat area in the distance was very yellow and very bright. An amazing sight. But this image just doesn’t capture what I remember seeing.
I guess you just had to be there………