Friday, March 25, 2011

California Wildflowers: Hoping the Best Blooms Are Yet to Come...

Hurricane Vista
Will the Temblor Range look as colorful
in 2011 as it did here in April of 2010?
Although Anza-Borrego Desert and a few other Southern California locations have reported nice displays of wildflowers in some areas, Spring is slow to get out of bed this year.  The unusually cold and rainy weather definitely has played a part in delaying the wildflower season in much of the state.

Scattered wildflowers are just starting in the Alabama Hills and Owens Valley, but just to the south, the Indian Wells Valley around Ridgecrest has been warm enough to encourage large displays of goldfields with other varieties just coming to life. Too much cold and snow to get things rolling yet in the Kern County Mountains and Tehachapis.

Hillside Lupine Dance
It's "wait-and-see" as people
hope for a bloom like this along
California's Central Coast
Similarly, Figueroa Mountain along the Central Coast seems to be confused with snow on top of the peaks and plenty of cold weather and windy conditions that are likely to delay any spectacular blooms in this area for a while.

Although rain is always most welcome in our drought-stricken landscapes, it's difficult to tell if it has come too late to get the wildflowers to make a grand appearance this Spring.

Two Track to Paradise
The Sierra Nevada foothils above the
Owens Valley in May, 2010
At this point, it looks like the middle to end of April as well as the month of May are promising for areas along the Central Coast, Owens Valley and high deserts, while the best bloom of all may occur early this Summer in mid-range elevations of the Sierra and later in July and August for the high country once the warm weather melts a good deal of that snowpack.

Wildflower reports are being updated here almost daily as well as going out in short form on Twitter sometimes several times a day so stay tuned!