2017 Wildflowers, part 3

Really, this is Parts 3 & 4, but we’ll pretend that it’s just one part. Part 3 only consists of a couple photographs. In late March, I was in Phoenix for work and a friend had told me that the wildflower bloom up near New River was nice, so I spent my one evening in Arizona grinding my way through rush hour traffic to arrive at the referenced BLM lands north of New River just as the sun was setting. I found the first patch of flowers and saguaro that I could find, set up as fast as I could, and managed 20-30 minutes of photos in that one spot before it was dark. After that, the desert was too dark for me to even spot any wildflowers… though I did have fun bombing through dirt roads in the desert in the dark in my rental SUV!

Back in Southern California the buzz was all about Carrizo Plain National Monument, up in San Luis Obispo County, north of Santa Barbara. I tried and tried for several weeks to get up there, all the while seeing photos from friends of mine who were just killing it up there, but various things at home kept me from getting there until this past weekend. Finally I managed to get out of town… only to slog my way through $#(*@# Los Angeles–on Easter weekend no less. The 4.5 hour trip took me 7 hours.

In some ways, I wish that I’d made it up to Carrizo Plain earlier in the season. The big fields of Hillside Daisies down in the valley would have been less thrashed by tourists, and perhaps the fields of purples and oranges on the mountains would have been more pronounced. But it was still a lot of fun to shoot there, and there were still good photo opportunities. Not to mention that, if you took the time & energy to hike up into the mountains, those patches of orange and purple that seemed faded from the valley floor were suddenly much more healthy looking!

Cactus, yellow wildflowers, and saguaro near New River, Arizona, USA.

 

Yellow wildflowers and saguaro cactus near New River, Arizona, USA.

 

Saguaro and yellow wildflowers near New River, Arizona, USA.

 

Hillside Daisies (Monolopia lanceolata) at sunset in the central valley of Carrizo Plain National Monument.

 

Mixed wildflowers on a hillside. Temblor Mountains, Carrizo Plain National Monument, California.

 

Looking down into the valley of Carrizo Plain National Monument from high in the Temblor Mountains.  Do you see the cars at the trailhead?

 

Wildflowers on the slope of the Temblor Mountain range. Carrizo Plain National Monument.

 

A massive field of Hillside Daisies (Monolopia lanceolata) below the Caliente Range in Carrizo Plain National Monument.

 

A smattering of purple in a field of varying yellows off Simmler Road in Carrizo Plain National Monument.

 

The view of the painted Caliente Range in Carrizo Plain National Monument, across a field of Hillside Daisies (Monolopia lanceolata).

 

Hillside Daisies (Monolopia lanceolata) at sunrise after an overnight frost in Carrizo Plain National Monument.

 

Stars and Hillside Daisies (Monolopia lanceolata) in the moonlight at Carrizo Plain National Monument.

 

Hillside Daisies (Monolopia lanceolata) in the valley of Carrizo Plain National Monument

 

Looking down towards Soda Lake in the valley of Carrizo Plain National Monument from high in the Temblor Mountains.

 

Looking down into the valley of Carrizo Plain National Monument from high in the Temblor Mountains.

 

A hiking trail leads up into the Temblor Mountains and patches of colored wildflowers in Carrizo Plain National Monument

 

A painted hillside in the Temblor Mountains in Carrizo Plain National Monument.

 

Mixed wildflowers on a hillside. Temblor Mountains, Carrizo Plain National Monument, California.

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