Wildflowers

Death Valley related discussion
D.A. Wright
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Wildflowers

Post by D.A. Wright » Fri Mar 12, 2004 10:15 pm

Took off four hours from work this morning and came down to Trona at my leisure. Wildflower report:

* Panamint Springs: Roadside daisies blooming from just above the Darwin Wash road to the resort.

* Panamint Valley: Flowers blooming along the roadside from the big curve at the Ballarat road, southward to Water Canyon.

* Searles Valley: From the summit of Slate Range to Quarry Road the flowers are profuse along the road and out into the desert on both sides of the roadway.
D.A. Wright
~When You Live in Nevada, "just down the road" is anywhere in the line of sight within the curvature of the earth.

AndyR
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Aw Right!

Post by AndyR » Sat Mar 13, 2004 1:41 pm

I'm headed down there on Thursday for a few days. The cameras are loaded, and we're hunting flowers :)

Thanks for the update.

Andy

Robin
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Post by Robin » Thu Mar 18, 2004 4:19 pm

Here's the story I submitted to the Inyo Register a few days ago or so. Drove to Trona and back the other day and made terrible time as I had to keep pulling over to admire the flowers. (David, you never told me Trona was such a tragically depressing place!)

WILDFLOWER BLOOM
by Robin Flinchum

The bloom is on in Death Valley and everything’s coming up brown-eyed primroses. Festive patches of yellow, purple and pink are busting out all over the normally red-brown, muted landscape and park rangers are out in the field every chance they get to witness this tiny, quiet miracle.

In Death Valley a good wildflower year is often remembered much like a good grape harvest might be in Northern California. For Park Naturalist Charlie Callagan, ’98 was the bloom to beat and it’s just possible, he says, that this season will do it. In his 14 years in Death Valley, Callagan says, there have been a few good wildflower years—’92 and ’95 come to mind—“but so far nothing compares to ‘98â€￾.

Generally, a good wildflower bloom coincides with significant el nino activity and results in a profusion of various colors carpeting the desert floor—sometimes whole fields of color so vibrant it takes your breath away. Last year, Callagan says, was OK. Late showers left a respectable showing in the spring, “but nothing like what we should see this year,â€￾ when perfectly timed rains have the desert primed for blooming. The peak of the season, Callagan predicts, will be in the last ten days of March at the lower elevations, and then another, lighter wave of blooms will hit the higher elevations in April.

Visions of five-spots near the old Ashford Mill are dancing in Callagan’s head and he hopes to see fields of desert gold climbing up the alluvial fans. Meanwhile, brown-eyed primroses, sand verbena, and desert gold are making a good showing in the southern portion of the park, along with the yellow-flowering creosote bushes, while purple notch-leafed phacelia and golden evening primrose are showing in the northern end.

Callagan and several other rangers keep an eye on the progress of this parade of color, reporting in regularly on the park’s website. “We’re out there every chance we get and we love to get updates from the public or other rangers,â€￾ he says. “For me it’s a transformation of the desert. We’re in the hottest, driest, place in North America and to see it filled with colors and flowers really brings it alive.â€￾

The wildflower season is probably the most popular time of year in Death Valley, says NPS Public Information Officer Kat Isenman. Many visitors don’t actually come for the flowers, surrounded as they are by plenty of green, growing things in the places where they live, but in their spring break sojourns to warm themselves in the desert, they’re likely to witness one of its greatest wonders. And, Isenman says, the park does attract a significant number of visitors who do plan their trips around what the desert will be wearing this spring. “It’s a season some people look and wait for. Everyone who works here stays fully informed about what’s blooming, where’s the best show and when, so they can help people get the most from their visit,â€￾ Isenman says.

Callagan and other rangers offer interpretive hikes two or three times a week during the peak of the season, and times are listed at the Furnace Creek visitor’s center. But, he says, the visitor’s center also sells “a little one dollar wildflower guide that tells you everything you need to knowâ€￾.

Callagan adds that he doubts there will be any more rain to prolong the season, unlike last year when sprinkles kept a dusting of green on the desert long past its usual quitting time. The bloom, he says, will be about over by the end of April, when Death Valley becomes sun-parched and dusty once again.

But by then, if we’re lucky, Callagan will be remembering ’04 as the one to beat.

D.A. Wright
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Post by D.A. Wright » Thu Mar 18, 2004 6:23 pm

Robin wrote:(David, you never told me Trona was such a tragically depressing place!)
Thought my photo in another forum was warning enough. The one with the flowers against a background of the charred studs of a burned down duplex. I also posted quite a tale about why Trona is in such bad shape some time ago. Most folks, though, seem to notice the smell more than the squalor.
D.A. Wright
~When You Live in Nevada, "just down the road" is anywhere in the line of sight within the curvature of the earth.

AndyR
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This just in.....

Post by AndyR » Sun Mar 21, 2004 6:51 pm

Just got back home after a 9 1/2 hr drive. Photos are downloading.
I'll post some links or photos after dinner.

Summary:

The real bloom is starting, 5-Spot, Paintbrush and Panamint Daisy's all showing.
Trona is still.....Trona.
The store in Ballarat is getting a major cleanup.
DV (all of it) lost power for over 2 hours yesterday.
It was 97F in the Valley yesterday, but nice at Aguereberry & Kilns :)
The Springs still is the best watering hole to watch sunset.

Andy

AndyR
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Wildflowers March 2004

Post by AndyR » Sun Mar 21, 2004 8:03 pm

Here's a link http://www.ubehebe.com/wildflowers_march_2004.htm
and brief sample of what's currently blooming in DV. Below are Desert Five Spot, Indian Paint Brush and Panamint Daisy.


Image
Image
Image

Andy

Robin
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Post by Robin » Sun Mar 21, 2004 10:29 pm

Hey, nice photos. Where did you see the five-spot?

AndyR
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Five Spot

Post by AndyR » Mon Mar 22, 2004 6:41 am

Mushroom Rock of all places. There were also a few up at Keane Wonder Mill.

Andy

LVPinz
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Desert Flora

Post by LVPinz » Tue Mar 23, 2004 10:49 am

Made my first trip into DV Mar 13-14. Lots of flowers and perfect weather. Saw quite a few of those 'five-spots' at the extreme west end of Goler Wash road, where it meets the valley road.

Mike

teddyruxton
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Post by teddyruxton » Tue Mar 23, 2004 8:10 pm

Went to see the five spot that AndyR mentioned. They were there yesterday. Stopped to look again today and some body picked 'em! There are quite a few off the beaten path though (Thank goodness).

D.A. Wright
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Post by D.A. Wright » Tue Mar 23, 2004 10:00 pm

Found one Five Spot today. Just off Trona-Wildrose Road north of Valley Wells. Only one I found, quite by accident.
D.A. Wright
~When You Live in Nevada, "just down the road" is anywhere in the line of sight within the curvature of the earth.

teddyruxton
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Post by teddyruxton » Wed Mar 24, 2004 8:26 pm

Oops! Made yet one more trip to mushroom to look for five spots and my better half found a couple of dozen on both sides of the road. I guess I didn't look hard enough.

AndyR
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5 Spots

Post by AndyR » Wed Mar 24, 2004 9:26 pm

The strange thing is that they seem to occur more oftern where the graders have 'recently' dumped new material. This seems epecially true along the upper Furnace Creek Wash.

Andy

D.A. Wright
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Post by D.A. Wright » Fri Mar 26, 2004 7:09 pm

Wildflower photos taken this past week in Panamint and Searles Valleys.
ImageImage
Left: These daisies brighten up CA190, at the mouth of Darwin Wash, a couple hundred yards west of Panamint Springs Resort. Right: Daisies, at the old limestone quarry in the northern part of Searles Valley, north of Trona.

ImageImage
These two photos were taken just north of Valley Wells, Searles Valley, just north of Trona.

Image
Just south of the summit of the Slate Range. Maturango Peak in the background.
D.A. Wright
~When You Live in Nevada, "just down the road" is anywhere in the line of sight within the curvature of the earth.

dustyfart
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Post by dustyfart » Sun Mar 28, 2004 1:17 am

Its so easy to forget El Nino, and the hundred year bloom of spring 1998.Imagehttp://www.homestead.com/deathvalleyhik ... dunes2.jpg

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