And one more:
The drought that has plagued the Southwest United States, Southern California included, has been declared over… for the most part. We saw hardly any rain over the last five years and this winter we made up for the deficit. Finally! And when the rains come, so do the wildflowers.
The Torrey Pines State Reserve is a special place, and if you are visiting the San Diego area, try to stop by here. For spectacular scenery, the Guy Fleming Trail is one of my favorite places to walk, run, bring tourist friends, and take photos.
This year, a lot of photos. Never have I taken more pictures of any natural area. Ever. And I like taking pictures along hikes, so that is saying something.
From the dozen or so walks I have taken recently, I’ve saved about a hundred photos, culled down from four hundred, at least. The scenery changes every ten paces or so, quite literally! During San Diego’s May Gray and June Gloom, the fog sneaks and slips through the pines and up over the slopes that rise from the beach below. But- in a matter of minutes, the entire marine layer can clear up leaving tourist and locals blinking in the bright sunlight and marveling at the weathered bluffs, crumbling cliffs, and lovely, lovely flowers.
Just look at these side-by-side photos of similar views, but different times or weather:
Cold, early morning poppies vs. bright, shiny (and badly photographed) poppies:
I love these two:
Here’s a bit of the wildlife. Surfers count, they are totally legit wildlife…
Get a load of the geometry and patterns seen out on the beach trails:
And to conclude, a few of my favorite pics of just the flowers:
All right. I have to quit. I could upload another 50 photos that are every bit as lovely as these, but I have to calm the heck down.
Happy hiking, all!
California’s above average, drought-busting winter rains are the proverbial blessing and a curse- floods, rock falls and mudslides that probably won’t be seen for another ten to twenty years, but the reservoirs are near to full, the snowpack in the Sierras is reassuringly deep and… oh, the WILDFLOWERS!
If you have considered driving out to the desert to see The Superbloom, GO. NOW. I’m going to conclude this post with a barrage of photos of the desert wildflowers.
Here is our Anza Borrego Desert State Park in full bloom on March 13, 2017:
Above: top left- Lupine (Arizona Lupine?); top right- Beavertail Cactus; bottom- Desert Sunflower
Some of the wildflowers at one of the highway park entrance signs, pictured below, include Desert Pincushion, Desert Dandelion, and Blue-eyed Scorpion Weed, and in the pic on the left, you can also see an Ocotillo “skeleton.”
It’s simply lovely. I mean LOOK HOW GREEN THE DESERT HILLS ARE! Below left, an Ocotillo’s tips are ready to fire up it’s red blooms. Below right a Cholla cactus is usually the only green thing you would see in this picture.. again, look at those GREEEN HILLS!
Henderson Canyon Road is stunning this year:
Coyote Canyon has water! And amazing flowers!
More flowers, Ocotillo, and Agave along the Coyote Canyon drive (off-road, not for casual tourists in sedans):
Along the coastal chaparral of the Guy Fleming Trail wildflowers are bursting forth thanks to the downpours we’ve seen this rainy season. If you can’t drive out to the desert region this spring, get over to Torrey Pines State Reserve and enjoy the beauty before the heat returns and withers away these blooms.
Thanks to my handy-dandy spiral bound book-
Native Plants Torrey Pines State Reserve & nearby San Diego County Locations
by Margaret L. Fillius, 2nd Edition
This book is available for purchase at the visitor center atop the preserve, and if you’re lucky, the author will be on site leading a nature walk.
What happens when you put a family of five into an SUV for thirty hours of nearly straight-through driving to visit their old friends and attend the Rose Bowl? They have fun. We helped our old friends get their wiggles out by putting them through our Tourist Treatment, specially constructed for Hoosiers.
You get some terribly centered selfies…
Some Christmas Card worthy photos…
A whole LOT of drinking…
And pics that were as much fun to see and share as the whole day.
Seven years ago we were all canoeing on Sugar Creek in central Indiana:
And this is the ridiculousness into which we have degraded: