Data are collected following the hiked path shown below and includes the immediate area.
One fertile flower (male or female), is all it takes to count a species in bloom.
We try to visit a lot of different areas, but areas with a better bloom may be visited more often.
It makes a huge difference if the bloom count is from a very dry badlands area, or from a place with a good rainfall or along a creek.
The data in the graph are averaged out over a couple of days, to show the actual daily bloom count in the graph, click on the legend on the right until only one is active (black).
With only one selected bars will pop up representing the daily bloom count.
Warning this is the archive and does NOT represent actual bloom
The 2018-2019 bloom report:
Bloom prediction, updated April 26 2019
Bloom prediction for the Anza-Borrego Desert:
When will the low desert bloom peak? It peaked by the end of March and we are now way past peak bloom.
Bloom is still good between 2000 and 5000 feet.
Even at lower elevation, there are still interesting plants to be found, but it sure is warm.
Last time we noticed too many must see plants, that we had to go back and catch them in bloom.
Things changed much more than we expected.
Now fields of Collinsia concolor | Chinese houses, Eschscholzia californica | California poppy, Sidalcea sparsifolia | Checkerbloom and Platystemon californicus | Creamcups to name some of them.
Many Gilia capitata abrotanifolia | Globe gilia and the Phacelia distans | Common phacelia are still blooming just fine.
Nice Delphinium parryi parryi | Parry's larkspur and Spreading larkspur | Delphinium patens hepaticoideum.
One of the plants we've never seen in bloom Flax flowered linanthus | Leptosiphon liniflorus, suddenly hundreds of them.
We were going cross country and found a couple of Phacelia imbricata | Imbricate phacelia, we've never seen in bloom before. We found several more and even along the trail.
The first time we've seen Achillea millefolium | Common yarrow in bloom in California.
Time to visit the northern end of the park. It's a long ride and the road down towards Turkey Track is rocky.
We decided to park in a safer places, because the last stretch into the canyon is tricky on the way up.
The prominent yellow bloomers are Bahiopsis parishii | Parish's goldeneye, Encelia farinosa farinosa | Brittlebus and Keckiella antirrhinoides microphylla | Little leaf chaparral beard tongue.
Nice fields of big Mountain bush lupine | Lupinus excubitus austromontanus and a supprisingly high number of Stanleya pinnata pinnata | Prince's plume.
The goal was to at least reach the Mentzelia laevicaulis we found last season and they were still there. Fun fact on our way back we found a second bunch much closer.
We will probably try to find them in bloom early October.
Bloom around Whale Peak isn't very good this season, the timing of rain and cold weather.
Exceptions are Ericameria linearifolia | Narrow leaf goldenbush, Chaenactis fremontii | Fremont's pincushion and Layia glandulosa | White tidy tips.
We only found three Nolina parryi | Parry's nolina in bloom and none of the others made any attempt.
Once down at the second parking going cross country to the car we found many Eriophyllum pringlei | Pringle's woolly sunflower.
This is always a good sign and we found Nemacladus sigmoideus | Sigmoid threadplant a yellow one no less.
But suddenly we found strange Gilia that must be the elusive Gilia mexicana | El Paso Gilia, they are here after all and in very high numbers.
No longer in prime bloom, but we found some in bloom nevertheless and were able to make some pictures, despite the very strong wind.
It's hot, so high is the best place to hike.
Nice fields of bigger Phacelia distans | Common phacelia and Eschscholzia californica | California poppy.
Bloom is late this season, so unfortunately we missed a lot of flowering plants.
This one of our must do hikes, to follow up plants we couldn't positively ID on our last visit and adding new mystery plants.
Highlights of the area right now a re the fields of Chaenactis glabriuscula glabriuscula | Yellow pincushion and Collinsia concolor | Chinese houses.
Plants like Giant four o'clock | Mirabilis multiflora pubescens are very late this season and now close to bloom.
This is the first time we've seen some water this far down in the creek.
We read reports of a good bloom along the PCT from Scissors Crossing, so we made a new hike.
The bloom is indeed good with many Encelia farinosa farinosa | Brittlebush in good bloom.
Our second encounter with a venomous snake, we were almost on top of it, not too snake aware on the PCT. It was making a hissing sound and kept and eye on us, even when other hikers arrived on the scene.
It's finally time for Dudleya saxosa aloides | Desert dudleya to start their bloom.
Eriastrum eremicum eremicum | Desert woolly star are extremely late this season, we found many plants but just a few in bloom.
This is place were Eriophyllum wallacei | Wallace's woolly daisy, white and yellow mix, often just next to each other.
Our favorites are still in good bloom | Diplacus brevipes , Wide throated yellow monkeyflower and Diplacus fremontii | Fremont's monkeyflower.
A trip down the Hellhole Canyon starting at Pena Spring.
The bloom is very good going down, hundreds of Collinsia concolor | Chinese houses and Gilia capitata abrotanifolia | Globe gilia in good bloom.
Many Delphinium | Larkspur and Keckiella antirrhinoides microphylla | Little leaf chaparral beard tongue in bloom.
Going down wasn't too difficult except for the last part. The creek is running, but the vegetation is dense with a lot of catclaw.
Many Encelia farinosa farinosa | Brittlebush and Justicia californica | Chuparosa in bloom along the creek.
We were very pleased to find one Phacelia ramosissima | Branching phacelia in bloom.
On our way up a couple of blooming Nemophila pedunculata | Littlefoot blue eyes.
April/17/2019 Pct Angelina spring to Grapevine Canyon
This loop originally passed private land that seemed OK, but the owner now prohibits anyone to enter his property.
Making the last part of the loop a bit more difficult, we now have to navigate the Adenostoma fasciculatum | Chamise that are growing back quickly after the fire.
The bloom is good with plenty of variety, but lacking our friends Nemacladus, one of the reasons we traveled this route.
This isn't a good Nemacladus season, maybe the cold and the lack of rain later in the season.
The good bloomers with large flower fields: Chaenactis fremontii | Fremont's pincushion Calycoseris parryi | Yellow tackstem and Platystemon californicus | Creamcups.
Also one of the few places for Diplacus fremontii | Fremont's monkeyflower.
While hiking Cottonwood Canyon, we went up to the saddle overlooking Hawi Vallecito, that looked mighty interesting, so a new hike to explore the area.
After the fire Encelia farinosa farinosa | Brittlebush took over in a spectacular way, it's the most abundant and often only scrub around.
Now the thousands upon thousands of Encelia farinosa farinosa | Brittlebush are in full bloom, presenting a spectacular sight.
At the start of the hike we came to an abrupt stop after a Rattlesnake was warming up in the middle of the wash, making no move or any noise.
Now we are more snake aware for a while.
On our way back one of the biggest, or maybe THE biggest blooming Salvia apiana | White sage we've ever seen, like WOW what a pretty plant.
Our next quest for Prenanthella exigua | Brightwhite. we had an excellent search image from the plants that Tom Chester found along the Villager trail.
This is a voucher location in the Volcanic Hills.
Hiking up the slope toward Red Hill, we soon found a couple of plants, in fruit, that's OK we needed fruit photos.
Finding the same companion plants (Trichoptilium incisum | Yellow head, Langloisia setosissima setosissima | Bristly langloisia and Calycoseris wrightii | White tackstem) gave us hope in finding more and in bloom.
We were finding many plants in bloom YES, the main habitat is on a north facing slope, on top of flat Red Hill and further down into Lava Flow Wash.
The area looks dry and at the end of bloom, even so we still found many plants in good bloom, these are after-all desert plants.
A couple of days ago overlooking Cottonwood Canyon, there was a faint orange glow, like Eschscholzia californica | California poppy.
This is greener than we've ever seen this area, with Salvia carduacea | Thistle sage, not a few but whole fields of them.
We were deviating quickly to the South were is was all yellow Encelia farinosa farinosa | Brittlebush all the way up to the Hawi Vallecito overlook.
Even more surprising Castilleja exserta exserta | Purple owl's clover, not even on our plants list by the thousands.
Large field of Chaenactis fremontii | Fremont's pincushion, dense enough to make a pretty sight.
Strange enough away from the hill side, everything looked that much dryer.
Close to the creeks it's more like a wasteland, too much water at once removes a lot of vegetation and made a deep gully in Salt Creek.
One of the best blooming Ceanothus leucodermis | Chaparral whitethorn we've migh ever seen.
Another surprise, the sound of a creek, this is the first time we found a good flow in Salt Creek.
Otherwise rare many good blooming Antirrhinum coulterianum | Coulter's snapdragon .
We almost missed the odd looking Toxicodendron diversilobum | Poison oak, not the apparent leaves of 3.
A wet year brings Calochortus splendens | Splendid mariposa lily and Muilla maritima | Muilla.
Now where is the big orange field, there it is, Lasthenia gracilis | Common goldfields, the yellow field with flowers done turns almost orange.
This is a location to find Eriastrum diffusum | Miniature woolly star and huge fields of Leptosiphon lemmonii | Lemmon's linanthus.
April/10/2019 PCT from Scissors Crossing to Rodriguez rd
One of the last parts of the PCT in our area we didn't hike before.
Now after the rain it was time to go.
This is a shuttle hike, a one hour bike ride back to Scissors Crossing. The bike ride, longer than the hike, wasn't as strenuous as feared.
The hike is scenic, but going in the wrong direction, all other PCT hikers go in the other direction.
Bloom is a great 108, but probably still not at prime.
One of our few hikes on an actual trail, so we could pick up some speed.
April/8/2019 Blair Valley Mason Valley overlook loop
Time to check out drainages south east of Rainbow Canyon.
It's a very warm day, so a shorter hike is in order.
A lot of debris from a crashed jet, scattered all over the area.
This turned out to be a good decision, a good number of flowers and one of the best displays of Lasthenia gracilis | Common goldfields we've seen for a long time.
The crest is home to a good number of Acmispon brachycarpus | Short podded lotus, our first find within the Anza-Borrego Desert.
A loop hike from the S2 up to the PCT.
The bloom here is good but not spectacular, we were surprised that we ended up with such a high bloom count.
It took a while after the fire to restore the plant life, now we are close.
The Lycium cooperi | Cooper's desert thorn that looked dead are now all green and many in bloom.
Bloom time for Yucca schidigera | Mojave yucca, here and around the park.
Many big Salvia columbariae | Chia on the slopes and Dichelostemma capitatum capitatum | Blue dicks.
Cacti are about to go in full bloom and Cryptantha intermedia | Common cryptantha are blooming in huge numbers and lining the trail.
In the washes Nama demissa demissa | Purplemat, Eriophyllum wallacei rubellum | Wallace's woolly daisy(white), Diplacus brevipes | Wide throated yellow monkeyflower and Diplacus fremontii | Fremont's monkeyflower.
This are is so good, we had to try out our route we planned so long ago.
The highest concentration of Encelia farinosa farinosa | Brittlebush can be found right here with a staggering number of plants in bloom.
Wow a new hot spot of Lupinus excubitus medius | Mountain Springs bush lupine dozens blooming in the wash and up the mountain.
Joining the yellow bushes, the pretty Ericameria linearifolia | Narrow leaf goldenbush.
This is home to all the variations of Eriophyllum wallacei | Wallace's woolly daisy, white (rubellum), slightly yellow and yellow.
Wow our friend Diplacus aridus | Low bush monkeyflower, many in good bloom.
Real pretty Acmispon argophyllus argophyllus | Silver leaf lotus and Penstemon clevelandii clevelandii | Cleveland's beardtongue.
The best find Linanthus maculatus emaculatus | Jacumba Mountains linanthus another good population at a higher elevation. In the same habitat, a shallow sandy wash.
Unbelievable walls full of Gilia capitata abrotanifolia | Globe gilia, hundreds if not thousands is bloom.
Everywhere patches of Leptosiphon lemmonii | Lemmon's linanthus in the thousands.
As we are getting closer to the mountain rage of Mount Laguna, hundreds of Castilleja exserta exserta | Purple owl's clover and Dichelostemma capitatum capitatum , Blue dick.
Echinocereus engelmannii , Engelmann's hedgehog is the most abundant of the cacti in bloom,
One of our goals was to find basal leaves on Nemacladus ramosissimus | Smallflower threadplant that's abundant in this area, but hard to find as it looks a lot like Nemacladus glanduliferus | Glandular threadplant.
We recorded a staggering 132 plants in bloom, breaking our all time record.
Henderson Canyon is still surprisingly good with 100 different species in bloom, even surpassing our 2017 count.
Nice to see the white Diplacus bigelovii bigelovii | Bigelow's monkey flower again that we noticed a couple of years ago.
Fountain grass | Pennisetum setaceum unfortunately is still spreading and always in bloom.
Several Psorothamnus schottii | Indigo bush are in good bloom.
The big surprise of the day we counted over 20 Rafinesquia californica | California chicory low in the canyon, this is the first time we found them here.
The canyon is home to Phacelia rotundifolia | Roundleaf phacelia, in bloom rihgt now.
Also home to Phacelia campanularia campanularia | Desert bluebells, always present in the wash.
Plenty of Nemacladus rubescens | Desert threadplant in good bloom.
The number of butterflies (painted ladies) is still staggering and the preferred plant by far, like everywhere else in Condea emoryi | Desert lavender, one scrub can attract dozens of butterflies.
We wanted to check out the Phacelia neglecta | Alkali phacelia location to see if our ID of the skeleton plants was right.
Always interesting to go late in the season, a great time to catch both the end of bloom and late bloomers.
The Parkinsonia florida | Blue palo verde are finally in general bloom and this is the bloom time for Nemacladus tenuis tenuis | Slender threadplan.
It's rare to find a young Krameria erecta | Pima rhatany, but they do exist as we found a small good flowering plant. With Ambrosia dumosa | Burrobush as it's host.
Close to the Phacelia neglecta | Alkali phacelia location, tiny blooming plants, the first ID Phacelia neglecta, but we soon found the real thing and now the other plants puzzled us.
This is something we've never seen before, aways good, they turned out to be Nama pusilla | Gravel mat.
Time for the low growing Cistanthe ambigua | Desert pussypaws to go erect.
It's warm, sunny and noon, perfect conditions for Eremalche rotundifolia | Desert five spot to bloom.
Walt Fidler found a couple of must see plants.
Great to see Abutilon palmeri | Indian mallow for the first time and in such good bloom.
The whole area is as good as it gets, with an even higher bloom count than the 2017 season.
Time to check out Salvador Canyon off Collins Valley.
In Collins valley the bloom came later and most of the flowers look that much fresher.
Finally Delphinium parishii subglobosum | Intermediate larkspur are starting to bloom, NO I see a caterpillar eating it in one of the photos.
Wow the canyon walls are yellow mostly by blooming Encelia farinosa farinosa | Brittlebush.
It's now time for the Salvia to start blooming, like Salvia eremostachya | Desert sage.
We've been avoiding Coyote Canyon, but now it's time to check it out.
There is a nice patch of Malacothrix glabrata | Desert dandelion before the end of the asphalt.
Zero crossing isn't that interesting as seen from the car after that it's pretty good along the dirt road up to First Crossing.
Nice patches of Malacothrix glabrata | Desert dandelion and Lupinus arizonicus | Arizona lupine.
First Crossing is still a stream and the flower display is better up to Second Crossing.
Second Crossing isn't deep at all, not much more than First.
We parked at the gate, just before Third Crossing.
The whole area close to the creek is a dead zone, most of the annuals and seeds must have washed away by the flash flood.
Away from the creek the flowers are very good, that's the opposite from what we usually see.
We started adding flowering plants to our list and the bloom count is very high.
Many Phacelia campanularia campanularia | Desert bluebells in the wash, but always individual plants.
Probably the best white Diplacus bigelovii bigelovii | Bigelow's monkey flower we've ever seen.
Finally Nemacladus rubescens | Desert threadplant in good number and with 106 different blooming plants it's as good as it gets.
Time to check on the southern part of the park. The park even recommends to go here.
For such an otherwise dry area, it's pretty good, with patches of Eschscholzia parishii | Parish's poppy.
Even one of the best displays of Mohavea confertiflora | Ghost flower, hundreds covering a canyon wall.
It's time for the cacti to bloom, like the southern Cylindropuntia wolfii | Wolf's cholla.
Nice patches of Langloisia setosissima setosissima | Bristly langloisia and our tiny friend Nemacladus orientalis | Eastern threadplant.
Wow a cream colored Encelia farinosa farinosa | Brittlebush.
And a big surprise a very high bloom count, this far south and close to the badlands.
Mar/22/2019 Plum Canyon - North Pinyon Mountain Peak Loop
We almost forgot about Calyptridium arizonicum | Arizona pussypaws a must see plant, until we found a iNat observation.
This is the time to finally find them in good bloom. That said we found one very small plant in bloom two days earlier.
We started the hike unusual late around 10 a.m. to catch them in bloom. The plants seem to start blooming just before noon.
The bloom is great with good fields of Eschscholzia parishii | Parish's poppy, Lasthenia gracilis | Common goldfields, Phacelia distans | Common phacelia and Diplacus bigelovii bigelovii | Bigelow's monkey flower.
We found several Calyptridium arizonicum | Arizona pussypaws, but non in bloom so far, finally a bigger plant in bloom and later on several more. The population must be 100+.
The area is shared with a similar plant, white flowering with flowers half the size, Calyptridium monandrum | Common pussypaws.
We have to revise our theory about when Erodium texanum | Texas filaree bloom, this one bloomed just before 3 p.m. with complete flowers.
Great fields of non native Erodium cicutarium | Red stem filaree.
The flower display is much better than we expected, with many Phacelia minor | Wild canterbury bells and Gilia diegensis | Coastal gilia in bloom.
Time to check if all plants in the area are indeed Eriophyllum lanosum | White easter bonnets and to add good photos to our flower guide.
That turned out be correct, amazingly not one Eriophyllum wallacei rubellum , Wallace's woolly daisy(white) could be found.
We did find thousands of Eriophyllum wallacei wallacei | Wallace's woolly daisy(yellow) in such good bloom, that the smell was overwhelming.
The bloom seems to be very close to it's peak, with so many plants in bloom.
This is on the edge of the October 2018 thunderstorm. Right here we have several waves of germinating plants and our highest bloom count of the season.
So close to the crowd just across the fault scarp and no one around on this hike.
Finally the first blooming Nemacladus orientalis , Eastern threadplant of the season, one of our favorites.
Nemacladus glanduliferus , Glandular threadplant on the other hand is very numerous almost everywhere.
Other numerous blooming plants: Gilia stellata | Star gilia, Eschscholzia parishii | Parish's poppy, Phacelia crenulata ambigua | Notch leaf phacelia and Abronia villosa villosa | Desert sand verbena.
It's certainly time for Aphyllon cooperi , Broomrape to pop up everywhere.
This year the badlands are as good as it gets and away from the crowd.
Many Phacelia crenulata ambigua | Notch leaf phacelia, Encelia farinosa farinosa | Brittlebush, Xylorhiza orcuttii | Orcutt's woody aster, Hesperocallis undulata | Desert lily and Mentzelia involucrata | Sand blazing star.
Bloom is still very good, but a lot of plants are past their peak.
Finally Chorizanthe brevicornu brevicornu | Brittle Spineflower are starting to bloom, with it's almost invisible flowers.
For an area close and in the badlands 69 is an impressive number of blooming plants.
We've seen it raining numerous times over Glorietta canyon, time to check out what the rain produced.
Vast number of Emmenanthe penduliflora penduliflora | Whispering bells, Phacelia distans | Common phacelia, Eschscholzia parishii | Parish's poppy and Mentzelia involucrata | Sand blazing star at the canyon entrance.
The Eschscholzia parishii | Parish's poppy will only pop open later in the day.
Fields of Nama demissa demissa | Purplemat in the canyon.
Close to the entrance yes a big unmistakable Plagiobothrys jonesii | Mojave popcornflower and probably over a hundred more into the canyon.
The best display of Diplacus bigelovii bigelovii | Bigelow's monkey flower in the northern leg of the hike.
Here the fields are vast and best of all a nice color variation from deep red to some white Diplacus bigelovii bigelovii | Bigelow's monkey flower.
And not to forget the Malacothrix glabrata | Desert dandelion that are appearing.
It confused us for a second, a rare sight Mentzelia hirsutissima | Hairy blazingstar and Mentzelia involucrata | Sand blazing star mixing on the same slope.
Best of all we found probably hundreds of Linanthus dichotomus ssp. dichotomus, Evening snow that we never suspected here, higher up Glorietta Canyon.
We had to follow up some plants and this new loop takes right to them.
Previously we found strange very green basal leaves that were clear Eriogonum, but different from Eriogonum trichopes, they turned out to be Eriogonum inflatum, young plants with plenty of water.
Another goal was to follow up on the Stylocline we previously found, yes a new plant fore us Stylocline intertexta | Mojave Neststraw.
This area is past peak bloom, but still doing great and might even get better after the recent rain.
Going in hiking speed and only stopping for very interesting plants.
The flower fields are sure past peak freshness and probably at peak (variety) bloom.
Finally a big Langloisia setosissima setosissima | Bristly langloisia in good bloom.
Aphyllon cooperi | Broomrape are popping up left and right in high numbers, all the host seem to be Ambrosia.
The fields of Geraea canescens | Desert sunflower are still impressive, even on a cloudy day when the flowers aren't fully open.
Big Hesperocallis undulata , Desert lily blooming in the hundreds.
Finally the small often one flower Monoptilon bellioides | Desert star are now turning into big plants.
Brassica tournefortii | Sahara mustard;Asian mustard isn't even that bad here.
A side trip to check if the ID for Eriastrum harwoodii | Harwood's woollystar was correct. It seems that way, only the plants aren't erect, as in another location.
This area was long on our to-do list, this is a year with enough rain to make it worthwhile.
It's like going back in time to a normal bloom.
Like in most places many Hesperocallis undulata | Desert lily are in good bloom.
We already expected Lupinus shockleyi | Desert lupine to live here, a nice addition to the known population.
Time to return to a Smoketree fork, we haven't visited for a while.
Bloom really seems to be winding down here, in other years we would probably call this an excellent bloom.
Pennisetum setaceum | Fountain grass is invading more and more canyons like here, always in bloom.
We are adding many new Encelia farinosa phenicodonta | Purple eyed brittlebush locations this year.
Another area with a good number of Plagiobothrys jonesii.
Time to revisit the Vallecito hills, in a wetter year.
Strange here it's the opposite from what you otherwise see, the annuals are way better than the perennials.
Exceptions are Lycium andersonii | Anderson's desert thorn, Lycium fremontii | Fremont's desert thorn both in good bloom.
Allong the Vallecito Creek fields of Eriophyllum wallacei wallacei , Wallace's woolly daisy and Diplacus bigelovii bigelovii , Bigelow's monkey flower.
We should have many south facing slopes filled with Eschscholzia parishii , Parish's poppy this year like here.
Rare to see both Mentzelia involucrata | Sand blazing star and Mentzelia hirsutissima | Hairy blazingstar as close together as 1 meter.
Also home to Eriophyllum lanosum | White easter bonnets, very rare in the Anza-Borrego Desert and surrounding area.
We were hesitant to go back as this is a prime Brassica tournefortii | Sahara mustard;Asian mustard location.
Some areas are extremely dense with big plants in fruit.
But there are surprisingly good areas in between, here it was possible to take great shots without too many Brassica tournefortii.
We had to look extra carefully to find back what is left of the thousands of Pectis papposa papposa | Chinch weed, the smell on touch surely gives it away.
A great display of large Oenothera deltoides deltoides | Dune evening primrose and this time many big white plants turned out to be Rafinesquia neomexicana | Desert chicory.
Great fields of Abronia villosa villosa | Desert sand verbena.
An incredible number of very tall Hesperocallis undulata | Desert lily in bloom.
We found out first blooming Chorizanthe rigida | Devil's spineflower of the season.
A nice surprise a bunch of Aphyllon cooperi cooperi | Broomrape in bloom.
The contrast on the border of the Borrego Badlands is extreme, a lot of plants and suddenly almost nothing.
This is the year of the monster plants like huge Phacelia crenulata ambigua | Notch leaf phacelia, but what isn't big this season.
Finally the Calycoseris wrightii | White tackstem are turning in bigger plants.
Last but not least, this is also home to Lupinus shockleyi | Desert lupine in good numbers.
While moving the photos from my phone to my computer, Windows decided to do something and the photos were forever gone.
So gone are the poppy field photos...
The hike is extremely rocky, luckily there are lots of interesting plants.
This area has been dry for some time, so the plant variation is low, still the bloom count is good.
We expanded our plant list enormously. Even after that the list is still pretty short.
On our route we found several Plagiobothrys jonesii.
Warning: Canebrake is a no access private property.
Driving past Canebrake, the canyon walls were covered by Eschscholzia parishii | Parish's poppy, so this was a must return canyon.
At the start of the hike Eremothera refracta | Narrowleaf suncup in high numbers and in bloom.
And even better a Nemacladus tenuis tenuis | Slender threadplant.
Grand fields of Eschscholzia parishii | Parish's poppy everywhere, far far into the canyon.
Big Gilia stellata | Star gilia, like many plants that germinated from the October 2018 rain.
Fields of Diplacus bigelovii bigelovii | Bigelow's monkey flower.
Now the goal of the hike an almost white Encelia farinosa farinosa | Brittlebush, that was observed in a previous season on iNaturalist.
It was partially vouchered, luckily it is still doing well.
Close by a white Phacelia distans | Common phacelia, a bit less rare.
Not to forget the numerous big Mohavea confertiflora | Ghost flower.
Like almost everywhere else big fields of Phacelia distans | Common phacelia.
One of the best photo shots of the day: Eucrypta chrysanthemifolia bipinnatifida | Spotted eucrypta, in sunlight, not hiding in the shade as usual.
A return to the Mine Wash that got touched by an October thunderstorm.
So far we are finding high numbers of Eremothera refracta | Narrowleaf suncup like here.
It's time for Phoradendron californicum | Desert mistletoe to start it's bloom, hardly visible, often only noticeable by the pollinators.
Easy to miss the fields of Eschscholzia parishii | Parish's poppy, when you are hiking before noon.
Small fields of Diplacus bigelovii bigelovii | Bigelow's monkey flower and Nama demissa demissa | Purplemat.
All in all it still doesn't look as good as we expected, the recent cold weather might be to blame.
WOW a Mammillaria dioica | Fishhook in full bloom, blooming almost entirely on the sun facing side.
Time to explore another canyon in the Canebrake area.
Ferocactus cylindraceus | California barrel cactus are now close to full bloom in various parts of the park like here.
The same goes for Eschscholzia parishii | Parish's poppy, more and more fields pop up.
This time a nice orange Justicia californica , Chuparosa, the otherwise red bloom, sometimes shifts towards yellow.
A nice find was a Lycium parishii , Parish's desert thorn that has twice the number of petals and has more prominent stamens.
Cryptantha utahensis , Scented cryptantha is present in the canyons around here, with a distinct inflorescence.
Close to Canebrake we noticed the canyon walls covered with Eschscholzia parishii | Parish's poppy, this is also close to the location of a white flowering Encelia farinosa | Brittlebush, we sure go back to explore this canyon some more.
On our way back we inspected Little Clark Dry Lake (already completely dried up), were you can find the only known location of Lepidium flavum felipense | Blair Valley pepper-grass that's dense enough to form strong scented flower fields.
Previously known as Borrego Valley pepper-grass, so far no-one has been able to find them again in the Borrego Springs area.
Time to check out area's were plants germinated from the December 2018 rain.
Hiking along the Hellhole Canyon trail, the pleasant surprise fields of Phacelia minor | Wild canterbury bells. It's not often you see so many plants together.
Flatcat Canyon and surrounding area is even better, fields of:
Phacelia distans | Common phacelia , Diplacus bigelovii bigelovii | Bigelow's monkey flower, Phacelia minor | Wild canterbury bells, Nama demissa demissa | Purplemat and Eschscholzia parishii | Parish's poppy.
In Flatcat hundreds of Gilia stellata , Star gilia are in bloom, they are too small to form flower fields but up close the flowers are pretty.
This looks almost exactly the same as one month ago except for the larger fields of Eschscholzia parishii | Parish's poppy.
Maybe the cold weather makes the plants not that fresh looking, despite the rain.
The fields of Eschscholzia parishii | Parish's poppy are impressive, even when not fully opened.
We were happy to finally catch a good blooming Parietaria hespera hespera | Pellitory.
And we added a new grass to our list, Festuca bromoides / Vulpia bromoides.
This is on the edge of the flower rich area around Canebrake.
The hike is supposed to be well under 4 hours, it took us about 1 1/2 hour longer.
We didn't even enter the canyon proper after an hour of hiking, there was that much to see and explore.
Ferocactus cylindraceus | California barrel cactus are getting close to prime bloom.
We were surprised by the very high number of Caulanthus lasiophyllus | California mustard in the wash.
Hundreds upon hundreds of Eremothera refracta | Narrowleaf suncup along the wash. We were early enough to still catch some in bloom.
Nice to see Mentzelia hirsutissima | Hairy blazingstar that are now big blooming plants.
This whole are seems to be a hot spot for Antirrhinum filipes , Twining snapdragon.
There are many Mirabilis tenuiloba | Slender lobed four o'clock blooming in the canyon.
Finally a Lupinus concinnus | Bajada lupine in bloom, that we've not seen this season.
Several of the tiny Astragalus nuttallianus cedrosensis | Cedros milk vetch in bloom.
Our seasons first Nama demissa demissa | Purplemat and finally flower fields of Diplacus bigelovii bigelovii | Bigelow's monkey flowers.
In more and more places Gilia stellata | Star gilia are starting to bloom.
Mohavea confertiflora | Ghost flower are certainly not rare this season.
While driving by, the area looked promising enough for a hike, especially in an area we've never hiked before.
Amazing how many huge Hesperocallis undulata | Desert lily are in bloom right now.
This is the typical habitat of the Astragalus crotalariae | Salton milkvetch, with large blooming plants.
Many patches of Geraea canescens | Desert sunflower, never truly dense.
The cold seems to produce complete open flowers on Erodium texanum | Texas filaree.
Badlands are home of the 'rare' Xylorhiza orcuttii | Orcutt's woody aster, we now should have found over 10,000 plants.
One of our badland favorites the Eriogonum trichopes | Little desert trumpet are growing bigger than we've ever seen before.
The good thing Brassica tournefortii | Sahara mustard;Asian mustard for now is rare.
Bloom count seems low but it's high for an area this close to and in the badlands.
A return to Big Wash, to see how things changed after almost 2 months.
The most obvious Brassica tournefortii | Sahara mustard;Asian mustard has grown faster than anyone else, but luckily it's not everywhere.
Here no flower fields, except for the occasional small field of Eschscholzia parishii | Parish's poppy high up the canyon walls.
Certainly a place to return to follow up some plants.
We found Phacelia neglecta | Alkali phacelia germination, a good place to revisit by the end of March or April.
While driving in Palo Verde wash we were surprised by the good fields of Abronia villosa villosa | Desert sand verbena on both sides of the canyon wall.
This is still a wonderful area for a hike.
On an unexpected pleasant day with sunshine and not too much wind.
Palo Verde Wash is good, Ella Wash is ok, Coachwhip is again good with fields of Lupinus arizonicus | Arizona lupine.
A fairly short and easy loop for a change.
The first blooming Eriogonum trichopes | Little desert trumpet we found this season, in general they are small, but often like here very big plants.
A lot of big Phacelia crenulata ambigua | Notch leaf phacelia
This is prime Xylorhiza orcuttii | Orcutt's woody aster territory, with many in bloom.
We were pleasantly surprised with a lot of blooming Hesperocallis undulata | Desert lily.
The bloom count may seem low, but for this area it's very high.
The surprise of the day, fields of Eschscholzia parishii | Parish's poppy, so I had to scramble up the ridge.
Not so long ago we would consider flowering Erodium texanum | Texas filaree with intact petals rare, but not this season.
A return to one of the best flower areas.
This loop explores two canyons that are close to the center of the October 2018 thunderstorm.
Bloom is winding down, but still good especially in the June Wash.
Still early in the morning to catch Eremothera refracta | Narrowleaf suncup in bloom.
Huge Cylindropuntia fosbergii | Mason valley cholla.
Many small Diplacus bigelovii bigelovii | Bigelow's monkey flower.
Fields of Chylismia claviformis peirsonii | Brown eyed primrose.
Best find of the day 50+ blooming Aphyllon cooperi latiloba | Broomrape.
Next a single Antirrhinum filipes | Twining snapdragon and finally the first blooming Mentzelia hirsutissima, Hairy blazingstar of the season.
Many Agave deserti deserti, Desert agave in good bloom and on a sandy slope dozens of Mohavea confertiflora | Ghost flower.
We had to check a iNat record of Lycium parishii | Parish's desert thorn.
The wash is good right from the start all the way up to the Sheep Tanks.
Not as spectacular as the 2017 bloom, right now Parish's poppy | Eschscholzia parishii are flowering by the hundreds as do Chylismia claviformis peirsonii | Brown eyed primrose and Phacelia crenulata ambigua | Notch leaf phacelia.
Here in the desert it's rare to see Gilia stellata | Star gilia this big.
We were more pleased finding the tiny flowering Astragalus nuttallianus cedrosensis | Cedros milk vetch and Nemacladus glanduliferus | Glandular threadplant.
Best of all the > 100 Plagiobothrys jonesii, we've never seen before until this season.
Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 66.
The wash is very good until entering Palo Verde Canyon, here the bloom drops back as most of the germination is from the December rain and seems to become much less abundant.
What you find are hundreds of Eschscholzia parishii, Parish's poppy and Nemacladus glanduliferus, Glandular threadplant, bigger than usual.
The west wall (before entering the canyon) is covered with Phacelia crenulata ambigua, Notch leaf phacelia and Dalea mollis Silky dalea.
There are plenty of Mohavea confertiflora, Ghost flower and Encelia farinosa farinosa, Brittlebush in bloom right now.
Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 65.
Time to return to the great bloom, to see what happened in a month time.
WOW this looks even better than we expected and our expectations were high, what a big blooming plants.
Great fields of Geraea canescens | Desert sunflower , Oenothera deltoides deltoides, Dune evening primrose, Chylismia claviformis peirsonii | Brown eyed primros, Abronia villosa villosa | Desert sand verbena.
This is about as good as it will ever get in the desert.
Like everywhere else many Hesperocallis undulata | Desert lily in good bloom.
Striking to see the small Rafinesquia neomexicana | Desert chicory grown into huge plants.
Finally, it's time for Cistanthe ambigua, Desert pussypaws to go into general bloom.
Aphyllon cooperi cooperi, Broomrape are getting ready to pop up, the first are in bloom in a couple of places, like here.
We lost count of the many Astragalus Aridus, easily > 100 plants in bloom.
Many small Astragalus Aridus germinating from the December rain and maybe even later.
The whole area is a hot bed for Astragalus in general.
The bad: At places Brassica tournefortii | Sahara mustard;Asian mustard made dense forests, out competing most of the native plants.
Not sure how long this bloom will last, as this might be the longest continuing bloom we've ever seen.
A day with expected rain, so shorter in and out hikes are a good option.
We've never explored this area, so this is a good time.
The bloom is good and bad at the same time, a lot of plants, but many struggling, probably from the lack of water.
We hiked the middle of the San Felipe Creek North East and we were surprised by the many soft sand areas.
The perfect home for Astragalus in general and for Astragalus Aridus in particular.
Astragalus Aridus plants are getting bigger and most are in bloom, but we did find one that germinated from the December rain.
We've never had a good bloom in Rattlesnake Canyon, until now. Not that it won't get any higher, it sure will in the following weeks.
Don't expect flower fields, but a good number of individual flowering plants.
As soon as we're out of the badlands, the bloom count jumps to a staggering 81. The count is on a hike, not in the entire area. The bloom count in the Anza-Borrego Desert is far above 150 different plants.
The germination from the December rain at Palm Spring is good.
Farther along the route, the closer we get to the Canebrake thunderstorm area, the bigger the plants get.
Three very big blooming Astragalus insularis harwoodii, Harwood's milkvetch.
This is an area were Encelia farinosa farinosa | Brittlebush and Encelia frutescens | Button brittlebush bloom in close proximity.
Once we found the first Encelia farinosa x frutescens all Encelia plants were now unknown.
Photographing all Encelia along the trip that looked suspicious.
Some are pure Encelia farinosa and Encelia farinosa x frutescens, but some hybrids lean more towards Encelia farinosa at least from the pictures, in the field the difference is obvious.
This is a great hike, but long, especially when botanizing, it took over 6 hours on a good pace.
A trip east of Fault Wash with a detour along East Butte.
One of the goals was to find out if the bloom continued further east and it did spectacularly.
We found more Astragalus aridus, a lot in the left over tiny sand dunes close to the San Felipe Creek, we expect the population to go further east.
The bloom isn't that divers but very good, with carpets of Chylismia claviformis peirsonii | Brown eyed primrose, Abronia villosa villosa | Desert sand verbena, Oenothera deltoides deltoides | Dune evening primrose and Geraea canescens | Desert sunflower
With not that many non native plants spoiling the bloom.
The best of all, we're not overrun by off-roaders.
Our return trip along East Butte to check out the mystery plants that turned out to be Johnstonella holoptera a plant rarely seen.
The bloom count is restricted to our hike, otherwise the count would be at least 10 higher.
Finding so many plants in bloom close by, this otherwise dry area had to be checked.
The area is covered with Chylismia claviformis peirsonii | Brown eyed primrose, by the thousands, they are everywhere.
The smell today is strong from Psorothamnus schottii | Indigo bush and Geraea canescens | Desert sunflower and the thousands of Chylismia claviformis peirsonii | Brown eyed primrose.
Another Eremalche rotundifolia | Desert five spot home, with dozens of mostly big plants ready to bloom.
Really big Phacelia crenulata minutiflora | Littleflowered heliotrope phacelia and Achyronychia cooperi, Frost mat carpeting the rest of the desert floor.
Abronia villosa villosa | Desert sand verbena is growing into enormous plants and still in good bloom.
Many Hesperocallis undulata | Desert lily in bloom along our route.
Always great to find a new bunch of Encelia farinosa phenicodonta | Purple eyed brittlebush, they seem to be far more widespread than we previously expected.
Hardly visible small Allionia incarnata incarnata, much smaller than we generally find.
Our favorite Aliciella latifolia latifolia, Broad leaf gilia is now in good bloom, with flowers no longer affected by the frost.
We were attracted by what seemed to be a sandy hillside spot with Abronia villosa villosa | Desert sand verbena.
Deviating from our preplanned route to this inviting location.
Buzzing, bees? A swarm of hundreds (probably a low count) leaving the hive close by, on their way and luckily not interested in us.
WOW, no way Hesperocallis undulata | Desert lily in good bloom everywhere, probably close to 100 plants.
Finally our first Eremalche rotundifolia | Desert five spot, we have a big disadvantage, we always start early, often too early, for late in the day blooming plant. When it warms up, we'll get our change to see more in bloom.
Nice to see so many Dalea mollis | Silky dalea and the plants like most are unusually big.
Time to check out the area next to Buttes Canyon.
We expected a lower bloom count, my what were we surprised.
This is the area with hundreds of tumbleweeds of the Encelia farinosa | Brittlebush kind. Not that these dead plants originate from a single year, it probably takes some time to get to this point.
Still plenty of Encelia farinosa | Brittlebush left, this is after all one of the fastest growing bushes around.
The plants are big, as they now have a longer than usual life-cycle, most of these plants would have been eaten and gone in other years.
Right now we are finding Erodium texanum |Texas filaree with complete open flowers in a number of places.
Most Hesperocallis undulata | Desert lily have been growing for a while (some blooming), but now it's their turn to go into general bloom.
This area is close to the October thunderstorm area, but it seems this is just past the edge.
One of the goals was to check for Euphorbia ocellata, but we often have more luck finding something on a random hike.
We were very pleased to find our first complete Erodium texanum | Texas filaree flower.
A lot of the route takes us into prime badlands, so the flower count is very good for such a place.
The goal was the find baby Phacelia neglecta, Alkali phacelia and maybe we found them, at least now we think the skeletons match the plants we found in the Big Wash area.
This is nothing like the 2017 bloom, but still good for January a lot of plants bloom 2 months early.
Our first Cistanthe ambigua | Desert pussypaws of the season, the Mohavea confertiflora | Ghost flower are getting huge.
Finally Aliciella latifolia latifolia | Broad leaf gilia with their normal pretty flowers, in other places, the cold might have damaged the flowers.
The germination is very good, but we have the feeling that the lack of water is showing.
The only bad thing, like so many other locations, the Brassica tournefortii | Sahara mustard;Asian mustard are out competing the native plants.
The goal was the find baby Phacelia neglecta, Alkali phacelia and maybe we found them, at least now we think the skeletons match the plants we found in the Big Wash area.
This is nothing like the 2017 bloom, but still good for January a lot of plants bloom 2 months early.
Our first Cistanthe ambigua | Desert pussypaws of the season, the Mohavea confertiflora | Ghost flower are getting huge.
Finally Aliciella latifolia latifolia | Broad leaf gilia with their normal pretty flowers, in other places, the cold might have damaged the flowers.
The germination is very good, but we have the feeling that the lack of water is showing.
The only bad thing, like so many other locations, the Brassica tournefortii | Sahara mustard;Asian mustard are out competing the native plants.
Time to change venue, a bit higher up into Deering Canyon.
The goal was to find the California satintail | Imperata brevifolia again, in San Diego County this is the only known location.
They are still there, 2 with dried inflorescence and over 20 on the one location we checked.
The hike itself is a bush walk, scrambling up the canyon not something you want to do every day.
The canyon wall is rather steep and it takes a while to safely reach our destination.
We checked the wash a couple of days before, to find our favorite Rush milkweed | Asclepias subulata, it was GONE, living in a wash is very dangerous.
But this indicated a lot of water flowed in this wash.
This turned out to be one of the better washes right now, water (from direct rain) all the way up the saddle.
Obvious are the normally easy to miss Peucephyllum schottii | Pygmy cedar, right now they are in very good bloom.
This is also our highest elevation Xylorhiza orcuttii | Orcutt's woody aster, never looking really happy.
We were pleased to find a couple of Gilia stellata | Star gilia in good bloom.
> 100 Eschscholzia parishii, Parish's poppy in good bloom.
Troubling, we are finding Sisymbrium irio | London rocket in more and more areas.
This is generally not a place for a great bloom, right now is the exception.
This is such a strange season, some plants in this area blooming at least 6 weeks early, this is like March.
The goal of the trip was finding Ives phacelia, Phacelia ivesiana with cotyledons and there were plenty around.
Abronia villosa villosa | Desert sand verbena are still doing great as do the early in the day bloomers Oenothera deltoides deltoides | Dune evening primrose.
Some Astragalus lentiginosus borreganus | Borrego milkvetch in bloom, with over a hundred to follow.
Finding a couple of Erodium texanum | Texas filaree with open flowers is always great.
This fork has been on our to-do list for over 5 years, now it's finally the time to go.
The lower part (up to the fall) of the hike you see the effects of the October 2018 thunderstorm.
The most prominent bloomers:
Encelia farinosa farinosa | Brittlebush and the prettier variation Encelia farinosa phenicodonta, Purple eyed brittlebush.
Both > 100 Eschscholzia parishii, Parish's poppy and yes Mohavea confertiflora | Ghost flower.
> 100 Perityle emoryi | Emory's rockdaisy close to general bloom.
On a sun facing rocky slope countless Dalea mollis, Silky dalea in bloom, great we needed more photos.
One of the many highlights: Nemacladus glanduliferus | Glandular threadplant, again the long calyx variation.
We were expecting Echinocactus polycephalus polycephalus | Cottontop cactus and there they were high up the steep slippery slope.
Much easier to climb up, than going safely back down.
Fun, we found one more close to the car, were we could stand next to it.
We know there are others easy accessible (Palo Verde, Domelands), for us this is a new location.
A loop on the east side of June Wash.
At first, the route follows the dirt road,
The abundance of flowering plants is still high, but things don't look that fresh anymore than a couple of weeks ago.
Freezing temperatures are one of the blaming factors, on the other hand plants bloom only a certain amount of time.
The December and January rain will certainly give this area a boost with many small germinating plants.
The highlight of the trip finding 35+ Astragalus insularis harwoodii, Harwood's milkvetch a plant we rarely see.
A wash North of Big Wash.
One of the goals was to find what might be close to the most North/Easterly population of Xylorhiza orcuttii, Orcutt's woody aster.
The most abundant bloomer Chylismia claviformis peirsonii | Brown eyed primrose, and strange enough only a few Geraea canescens, Desert sunflower.
Another abundant bloomer, Eschscholzia parishii, Parish's poppy.
The number of Erodium texanum | Texas filaree is very high, we found three plants in bloom, a very high score indeed, for a plant that seems to rarely bloom.
That said they are mostly self pollinators, rarely showing an open flower with petals.
Yes our first Gilia stellata | Star gilia for the season.
A return to probably the best flower area right now.
This time we deviated a bit from our route more or less following the Oenothera deltoides deltoides, Dune evening primrose, indicating sandy area's.
Plants are still doing very well, more and more Hesperocallis undulata | Desert lily are bloom.
The hundreds of Brassica tournefortii | Sahara mustard;Asian mustard are closing in for full bloom.
The Astragalus Aridus doing great and more and more start to go into bloom, a plant that hides it flowers well.
Nice Purplish Dithyrea californica, Spectacle pod and fields of Geraea canescens | Desert sunflower.
Driving from the asphalt, the germination is surprisingly good up to zero crossing.
All the way the Fouquieria splendens splendens | Ocotillo are in good bloom in an otherwise barren looking desert.
Water at First Crossing, less than a month ago when the road was the creek.
The park added a lot of extra boulders to prevent off-road travel. The road itself is excellent up to Third crossing.
The creek has rearranged itself since last season, mostly so between Second Crossing and Lower Willows.
This causes a massive amount of unhappy plants and lots of new vegetation.
Every time, we add more non-natives to our list.
The most interesting Marsh bristlegrass | Setaria parviflora or S. pumila new for us in the park.
The bloom is good along the creek, but dropping to almost zero away from the water.
Most noticeable Encelia farinosa farinosa | Brittlebush and Peritoma arborea angustata | Bladderpod bush.
This should be a promising area, and it is very good considering it's January.
One of the goals, finding Wrinkled spineflower | Chorizanthe corrugata germination, we probably succeeded a follow up will tell us more.
Another checking the many Encelia farinosa phenicodonta | Purple eyed brittlebush, unfortunately none in bloom.
An easy to miss plant, Peucephyllum schottii | Pygmy cedar, but not now as it's unusually pretty.
This is a Xylorhiza orcuttii | Orcutt's woody aster hotspot, many plants in bloom and very happy.
We had to postpone our hike because of the rain, about 0.1 Inch not much, but it will keep the plants happy for a couple of weeks.
This hike explores the interesting 'peak' that's visible from miles around in the flat area.
Heading all the way up to the Cut Across Rd and looping back along, but not in, Fault Wash.
This is about as far we can hike east, to stay safely out of the off-road area.
Great fields of Geraea canescens | Desert sunflower and Chylismia claviformis peirsonii | Brown eyed primrose, closer to the San Felipe Wash hundreds of Oenothera deltoides deltoides | Dune evening primrose.
The Oenothera deltoides deltoides | Dune evening primrose are as big as they will ever get, normally this is lunch time for the Caterpillars, until now the Caterpillars are scarce, but that can change very quickly.
The plants survived the short freeze without any visible problems.
One of the highlights a close to white Cleomella obtusifolia | Mojave cleomella.
The other, finding many Astragalus aridus | Annual Desert Milkvetch, a plant we've been searching for a couple of years now.
Unless something unexpected happens, this area may stay interesting until April, the batch of new germinating plants is doing great.
Driving up the Fish Creek Wash, the bloom count is very low, we counted less than five plants in bloom up to the Diablo Exit, this is very unusual.
The mature Astragalus crotalariae | Salton milkvetch are simply gone, they do grow very fast as we've seen hundreds of small plants in Olla Wash.
Once past Sandstone Canyon germination improves and we would probably have called it great, if we weren't spoiled by other areas.
The Olla Wash was much not as good as expected, some of the germinating plants did bloom. The effect of the freeze is certainly visible, and the recent rain might not be enough to keep things going.
Luckily things changed a lot at the top of the hike, here we picked up a Mohavea confertiflora | Ghost flower and two Cryptantha racemosa | Bushy cryptantha, the last is a plant we hardly see.
We scouted all the side canyons and drainages for Xylorhiza orcuttii | Orcutt's woody aster and we found many Asclepias albicans | White stemmed milkweed.
Now the thick base of the stem might be a good key to ID them without flower. We did find plants growing very close together, so the number of stems on a picture might be deceiving.
This is such a scenic area, that it's well worth the long drive.
The area is so good that it ended up on our repeat schedule, our previous hike was on Dec/12/2018.
It's sunny and close to freezing at the start of our hike, that's why we go uphill, that's just enough to warm up.
The Abronia villosa villosa | Desert sand verbena and Chylismia claviformis peirsonii | Brown eyed primrose are the most obvious bloomers.
Some are close to end of bloom, germination on the other hand is strong, so a next generation of plants should take over.
Blooming Phacelia crenulata ambigua, Notch leaf phacelia are popping up in ever larger numbers.
It's nice to see the Krameria bicolor | White rhatany in full bloom in this otherwise barren area.
A number of Chorizanthe rigida | Devil's spineflower, a plant easily overlooked among the many Eriogonum thomasii | Thomas buckwheat.
Many Mentzelia involucrata | Sand blazing star are starting to bloom and many will follow especially on the rocky slopes, here it's more a rock blazing star.
You see the effect of rocks and boulders on plants, with less competition, more water and a better regulated temperature.
The freeze seems to effect the younger plants more than the more mature plants.
More and more Hesperocallis undulata Desert lily are forming bud, so we might get to 1% of the plants in bloom.
The >100 Psorothamnus emoryi Emory's indigo bush are now big enough to easily ID as it looks a bit like Astragalus from a distance.
On the route the Astragalus Aridus we found weeks ago, still in hardly visible bloom.
The hike was a lot more dangerous than last time, still the busy New Year week.
It was a free for all in the San Felipe Wash, adding a lot of tracks left and right into the drainages.
There are park rangers around, but the area is vast. We encountered a roadblock on the Military rd as we checked out the road by car.
We unfortunately encountered not highway legal vehicles within the park boundaries.
A repeat of the Dead Borrego hike, with an on the hike change to loop following Indian Gorge.
A bit longer, but that much easier, we just wanted to know, what happened to the Eucnide rupestris | Rock nettle we found a year ago.
The skeleton was still there, but no germination, not surprising as this is just outside the Canebrake Thunderstorm area.
Dry at the start of the hike, but improving rapidly, wow the annuals are big. Unfortunately, this is Big Horn highway, let's hope there is something left on our next visit.
We underestimated the amount of shade in the canyon, not something you want with temps below 50, climbing helps.
Torote Canyon is surprisingly good with a lot of Senna armata | Spiny senna blooming and many to follow.
Again big annuals in Torote Canyon, but fading away closer to Indian Gorge Rd.
On the rest of the hike everything looks very dry, it obviously rained, but probably not enough.
A return to the June Wash area, crossing over to Arroyo Hueso and Tapiado.
Germination was so good that we had a hard time, finding the fork in June Wash toward our trail head.
Good Germination in two stages (October and December) along our track.
We were pleased to find another location for Malperia tenuis | Brown turbans.
The Ericameria paniculata | Blackbanded rabbitbrush on our loop, are still in very good bloom, indicating a later bloom than in the June Wash.
Still many Psorothamnus schottii, Indigo bush in full bloom in June Wash, they do bloom for a long time.
Passing the Inspiration wash, the pool was covered with ice, so temperatures have below freezing at night.
We are noticing plants right now that don't look that happy anymore.
On our last visit we looked at this nice green fork.
We needed more pictures of Chylismia claviformis aurantiaca, Brown-Eyed Evening Primrose, especially of the stem just above the basal leaves.
Still surprised by the very high number of Brandegea bigelovii | Desert star vine still in good bloom.
Lining the wash a high number of Lycium andersonii | Anderson's desert thorn, some in bloom.
This is a rocky wash that seems to be the favorite of Peucephyllum schottii | Pygmy cedar.
Still plenty of Datura discolor | Desert thorn apple in every drainage.
The bloom is close to what we found on our last visit and very good considering it's December.
Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 44.
We combined both washes in one loop.
In good bloom: Chylismia claviformis peirsonii | Brown eyed primrose, Encelia farinosa farinosa | Brittlebush, Dalea mollis | Silky dalea, Krameria bicolor | White rhatany, Asclepias albicans | White stemmed milkweed and Xylorhiza orcuttii | Orcutt's woody aster.
This was the area to check out the two Asclepias in bloom. The results all had 2 leaves and some were easy to ID by shape but not all, luckily most were in bloom.
Not good, we found over 13 Pennisetum setaceum | Fountain grass and as always in bloom.
It's unusual to find this area this green, so this is one of many hikes in the area.
Over half the species in the area are in bloom right now.
The highlights are Oenothera deltoides deltoides; Dune evening primrose, Geraea canescens; Desert sunflower and Abronia villosa villosa; Desert sand verbena.
Who knows what additional bloom the December rain will bring.
The only (big) minus point, the many Brassica tournefortii Sahara mustard;Asian mustard plants, most big and some in bloom.
Brassica tournefortii grows almost everywhere, but this is one of the favorite spots, it however doesn't seem to like alkaline soil.
This resulted in a nice patch of 100 meters free of Brassica tournefortii and filled with Geraea canescens.
We added a new plant to our list Astragalus aridus, Annual desert milkvetch a plant that seems to be rare. So far we found one in bloom and about 10 potential others.
As well as a new location for Lupinus shockleyi, Desert lupine and Cleomella obtusifolia Mojave cleomella, both in bloom.
Driving by this looked so green.
Wow, this is one of the greenest places outside of the badlands right now.
Many Encelia farinosa farinosa, Brittlebush in full bloom and Krameria that otherwise almost never blooms right here.
Amazing how fresh Cylindropuntia ramosissima, Diamond cholla can look, they might even bloom this season.
Many Eschscholzia, poppy and some Ferocactus cylindraceus, California barrel cactus in bloom.
We've never checked the Echinocactus polycephalus polycephalus Cottontop cactus right here, because of the dangerous location, this was the time to do so.
Our first Lupinus arizonicus, Arizona lupine of the season in bloom.
On our way back, first a few drops, but later measurable rain, probably close to 0.02 Inch.
So far the highest bloom count of the season.
Group Tom Chester reports 710 plants of 55 species in bloom in June Wash.
Data set to Dec/23. Tom Chester June Wash
Dec/24/2018 Ironwood West Loop
This was going to be our hiking day heading up to the foot of Whale mountain.
The October thunderstorm, just missed this area, although there is some germination from October and probably from December.
In all the drainages and washes you find Olneya tesota, Ironwood, even more than in Ironwood Canyon/wash.
This is prime cactus territory, very hard to avoid completely.
The surprise, far more than a hundred Fouquieria splendens splendens Ocotillo in bloom, many in full bloom.
The bloom count got a big jump on the top of the hike.
Struggling and weird Ferocactus cylindraceus; California barrel cactus in abundance.
Driving along the S22 we noticed the green plants, so this was a must go location.
The route is following the sandy stretches towards the Palo Verde Wash.
Wow what a great badlands bloom, if it wasn't for the 999999 Brassica tournefortii Sahara mustard;Asian mustard it would have been so much better.
This is the home of Helianthus petiolaris canescens, Gray desert sunflower and Geraea canescens, Desert sunflower.
A lot of grown up germination and secondary baby's from the December rain.
This might get much better,.
On our way back the whole area is covered with Pectis papposa papposa, Chinch weed, a very rare sight in December.
This is an interesting area in the middle of the badlands. Big Wash and the wash north of it stick out, having a higher variety of plants.
The area got a lot of rain in October and a follow up in December, this is going to be even better in a couple of weeks.
Flowers from the start mixed with some badland stretches and again a lot of good looking plants.
Brassica tournefortii, Sahara mustard;Asian mustard, unfortunately, is one of the most common plants in all the washes.
The best find of the day Astragalus nuttallianus imperfectus; Turkey peas, almost impossible to find in the jungle of other plants.
This is the highest bloom count in December we've ever recorded and getting better.
The main Mine Wash got a lot of water, probably in October.
Unfortunately, it didn't extend to the wash we went up, in other years this would have been a good wash considering it's December, but we are kind of spoiled right now.
Here we found one of the best blooming Fouquieria splendens splendens, Ocotillo right now.
Looping back along the main wash, the bloom appears as the canyon narrows.
Great Encelia farinosa farinosa, Brittlebush, hundreds of small Senna covesii, Desert senna and Marina parryi Parry's dalea many of the latter still in bloom.
Some Trixis californica californica, California trixis; Phacelia distans, Common phacelia; Physalis crassifolia Thick leaf ground cherry and Emmenanthe penduliflora penduliflora, Whispering bells in bloom.
Difficult to miss the happy Carlowrightia arizonica, Arizona carlowrightia, they seem to have bloomed not too long ago.
Just as in the other fork we visited a couple of weeks ago one Salvia apiana White sage in bloom.
The area around the East Butte is great and upper Military Wash is great, so this was an obvious target.
The hike follows some of the many drainages of Military wash.
This might be the place, with the highest number of plants, that directly germinated from the October thunderstorm.
To make things even better there seems to be new germination from the December rain.
The bad thing; the many huge Brassica tournefortii, Sahara mustard;Asian mustard, this is their ideal habitat.
The other; the motor cycles that disregard all signs and just drive everywhere.
The best, this is the highest bloom count in December that we have ever recorded.
The October thunderstorm came down here as well, at least more than one Inch considering the many big Datura.
This is going to be another great spot the coming months.
The goal was to find the Brandegea bigelovii, Desert star vine again from our last visit in 2014.
They were in bloom almost next to our car, now we had to follow they all the way to the ABDSP boundary, probably 99 all the way beyond the ABDSP boundary.
We have been checking every Chylismia claviformis peirsonii, Brown eyed primrose in iNaturalist and here it was immediately clear this was something else, Chylismia claviformis aurantiaca within the ABDSP boundary.
This is such a great area right now. We will explore another fork soon.
In October a thunderstorm came down in Ocotillo Wells, from what we see on the ground, the bulk of the water came down about half way East Butte.
Germination is general, but mostly in the many drainages and along the San Felipe Creek.
Most abundant bloomers Abronia villosa villosa, Desert sand verbena; Chylismia claviformis peirsonii, Brown eyed primrose and Psorothamnus schottii, Indigo bush.
The smell of Psorothamnus schottii, Indigo bush carries for hundreds of yards when there is such a high concentration of plants in exceptionally full bloom.
In the drainages hundreds of Datura discolor, Desert thorn apple, are in bloom, be early as they close during the day.
Blow Sand canyon has by far the highest concentration of Brassica tournefortii Sahara mustard;Asian mustard on this look.
Group Tom Chester is producing a very thorough plant survey of the area, look for the Tom Chester plant list in the hike link.
The bloom count is very high for December and may go up in the weeks to come if the temperature stays above freezing.
The Fish Creek Wash rearranged itself again after the recent rain, most of the water seemed to have originated out of the Camel Wash.
Germination and small plants in the Fish Creek Wash are mostly absent, we again lost a lot of plants in the wash.
Small plants started again past Sandstone Canyon. This time we decided to check out yet another fork.
The highlight of the day was a hummingbird protecting and feeding a Psorothamnus schottii Indigo bush.
Germination is good, but growing very slowly if at all, it's getting too cold.
A very scenic loop in the upper part of a fork of the Palm Wash.
The wash is still slightly slippery, but not enough to hinder us.
Hesperocallis undulata, Desert lily everywhere and some in bloom.
A high number of Chylismia claviformis peirsonii, Brown eyed primrose in bloom as well as Abronia villosa villosa, Desert sand verbena.
What spoiled the fun; the high number of large Brassica tournefortii, Sahara mustard;Asian mustard, still none in bloom, but growing strong.
As expected, this is one of the better Xylorhiza orcuttii, Orcutt's woody aster washes.
We came along a plant that just looked like a Encelia farinosa by color, but it looked really weird, on closer inspection it was a Tidestromia suffruticosa oblongifolia, Arizona honeysweet, they are always a bit purple, but not this one.
Another reason we went over the mesa, a place were Phacelia neglecta, Alkali phacelia might live. We think we found 99 remains on the mesa, this means the plants are there in even higher numbers.
We visited part of this canyon last year, by a different route, unfortunately this one isn't much easier.
Many of the plants in this area must have been on the brink of death before the October thunderstorm.
Nice to find a Tarantula in our path that was still moving around.
WOW a Cylindropuntia ganderi, Gander's cholla in bloom and a Opuntia basilaris basilaris, Beavertail.
The canyon is good, but because of the recovering plants, less that we expected.
YES one of the few times a year you smell cheese, that gives Ambrosia salsola salsola, Cheesebush it's common name.
This is the were you see many Ferocactus cylindraceus California barrel cactus branch when they feel they aren't going to survive for much longer.
Resulting in many interesting barrel cacti, having destructive sheep around doesn't help either.
We had a lucky encounter with a larger herd of sheep (20+), that were walking around like there were no nasty cacti around.
The best part when they started eating on the Echinocereus engelmannii Engelmann's hedgehog, kicking it open in 2 seconds flat.
We went by a couple of times and along the S22 this is the place with the best germination.
Exploring a couple of forks and looping back along Arroyo Salado Camp.
Germination is now in the teenager stage, maybe only weeks from general bloom.
Some Cylindropuntia echinocarpa, Golden cholla;Silver cholla, Krameria bicolor, White rhatany and Palafoxia arida arida, Spanish needles in bloom.
A lot of Abronia villosa villosa, Desert sand verbena and plenty of Psorothamnus schottii, Indigo bush in full bloom.
Again one Hesperocallis undulata, Desert lily in bloom at Arroyo Salado Camp.
Our second check, the sunflower patch along Henderson Canyon Road, big, big surprise, the whole stream of the Coyote Creek (dry) is full of very big Geraea canescens, Desert sunflower, by the hundreds.
They might go into general bloom extremely early, like within a couple of weeks if it doesn't get too cold.
Number of different baby plants found: 10.
The bloom count in this area with many dead plants and a lot that came back from the brink of dead.
Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 23.
We started at the second parking to the east, closer to were the rain fell.
The start was unexpected good, with a lot of interesting baby plants and Helianthus petiolaris canescens, Gray desert sunflower in bloom, weird as this a late spring bloomer.
The germination dropped and was low in the wide Rattlesnake Wash, suddenly good close to the Villager Peak route, but only at one spot.
Still a couple of Ferocactus cylindraceus, California barrel cactus in bloom and Pectis papposa papposa, Chinch weed.
A lot of Krameria in bloom, the best close to a host like a happy Larrea tridentata, Creosote bush.
Right now the smelly plant is Encelia frutescens, Button brittlebush, you can pick up the smell from a hundred feet or more.
Now we deviated from our normal route and went right for the S22. The sand on the other side of the road was like a magnet.
Unfortunately this side of the road (south) wasn't as good, 999 Brassica tournefortii, Sahara mustard;Asian mustard already big, waiting for the rain to come.
The plant diversity is somehow much less on this side of the road.
We wanted to check out the badlands.
Our trip: Butte Pass, San Felipe Wash along East Butte with good germination and bloom
Shell Reef Expressway, Barrel Spring Road, the fenced off sand dunes with Eriogonum deserticola, Dune buckwheat in full bloom
San Felipe Wash up to the 78, exit Pole Line Road with only one good spot, probably due to collected water, our first blooming Hesperocallis undulata, Desert lily of the season.
Next stop Thule Wash and Eriogonum wash to check out two seeps, and finding more Eriogonum deserticola, Dune buckwheat in bloom.
Along the rest of the Pole line road hardly any germination.
But we picked up a considerable amount of blooming plants.
We checked out Cut Across 'Road' about a week ago and Military Wash, seemed to be one of the greenest.
Starting from the San Felipe Creek, into Third wash that is called Cut Across at this point, the germination is general and out of the wash.
The patches of soft sand are ideal for germinating plants, but they might not get very big if the area won't get any additional rain.
We already found tiny Chylismia claviformis peirsonii, Brown eyed primrose in bloom, Abronia villosa villosa Desert sand verbena is in bloom creating small flower fields.
The bad; close to the 'road' it's also very green with Brassica tournefortii, Sahara mustard;Asian mustard, at least on the North side.
This is what we call Hilaria rigida Big galetta washes, dozens of washes lined with them and most in bloom.
The first surprise Rafinesquia neomexicana, Desert chicory in bloom, not one but several.
What took us really by surprise, Cylindropuntia echinocarpa Golden cholla;Silver cholla in good bloom, from our count at least 50% of the cacti are in good bloom and a lot more to come.
Encelia frutescens, Button brittlebush is one of the most overwhelming pleasantly smelling plants right now.
We still haven't found Brassica tournefortii Sahara mustard;Asian mustard in bloom, but these big plants will surely bloom here in very high numbers.
Nov/30/2018 June Wash - Viewpoint - Sandstone Canyon
The June wash along the 'road' is full of germination, probably with a low variation.
On the hike itself the germination was spotty.
We are hunting for new baby plants and finding baby Euphorbia eriantha, Beetle spurge was on the of the highlights of the day.
Opuntia basilaris basilaris Beavertail were already in bud for some time, this is the first plant we found in bloom this season.
On our way to the viewpoint, Ocotillo, Fouquieria splendens ssp. splendens are big and looking very well, this makes us believe there is a water source in this wash.
Once on the ridge above Sandstone Canyon, the view is stunning but dangerous because of the wind gusts.
The descent is interestingly steep and slippery.
We spend some time with a plant we couldn't recognize at first glance, an weird looking Baccharis brachyphylla Short leaf baccharis, maybe it got partially ripped from the narrow wash and what we see is regrowth or it go too much water and not enough sunlight.
Amazing that we picked up so many blooming plants on our trip.
Big wash was high on our list for some time, now after the rain it finally seemed to be a good time.
Driving on the dirt 'road' along the 86, there is still a tiny pool of water and ditches with thousands of Brassica tournefortii, Sahara mustard;Asian mustard as far as you can see.
Some Abronia villosa villosa Desert sand verbena in bloom, but no B. tournefortii in bloom yet, but what a healthy big B. tournefortii plants.
Up Big Wash one Asclepias erosa, Desert milkweed a typical early low desert bloomer that we do not encounter that frequently in full bloom.
We followed the 'road' up Big Wash, with very good germination and certainly not only B. tournefortii.
The B. tournefortii population density closely matches human activity, farther away from any road the population dwindles.
Krameria, both species in good bloom and a lot of healthy Xylorhiza orcuttii, Orcutt's woody aster with a couple in bloom.
Pectis papposa papposa, Chinch weed everywhere but sparsely, Allionia incarnata incarnata, Small flowered trailing windmills and Boerhavia wrightii, Wright's spiderling everywhere by the hundreds.
The first time this season, that we smelled Psorothamnus schottii, Indigo bush from far away, what a great smell it is.
This hike is very promising and high on our to return schedule.
We already knew the area should be good, but this was better than we expected.
Distracted by finding a bunch of blooming Matelea parvifolia, Spearleaf, we took a wrong turn, exploring extra washes and adding even more time to hike.
Germination is good from the start and dropped to almost nothing closer to the return point of the hike and going back up closer towards the car.
The most abundant visible bloomer Bahiopsis parishii, Parish's goldeneye.
Once close the ridge Pectis papposa papposa, Chinch weed everywhere and down hundreds more, just past peak bloom.
We've been here a couple of times before and missed the whole bunch of Carlowrightia arizonica, probably because they were so happy after the rain and in recent bloom.
The bloom count is great, but past peak and it took us over 5 hours to get to that point, picking up individual flowers along the way.
Germination started just beyond the Sandstone Canyon and turned very good at the bottom of Olla Wash.
Wow what a lot of germination, a lot of them already big (bigger than we've seen in the Canebrake area), the variation is not high.
This area obviously got plenty of rain, similar to what we found in Ironwood Wash, probably some a bit earlier, the germination certainly bigger.
The number of plants in bloom is good with many to come.
This was a great place to add sure baby plants, like Ambrosia salsola salsola Cheesebush and Hilaria rigida Big galetta.
Following the path of the Thunderstorm Whale peak -> Canebrake, Torote Canyon is a likely next point.
At the start everything looks dry, but there are signs of recent flowing water.
Larrea tridentata Creosote bush in full bloom, very green Fouquieria splendens splendens Ocotillo in the wash are a very good sign.
Yes germination along the canyon wash and behind rocks and boulders. The germination gets better further up the wash, a wash that's so green it hurts.
So many baby plants wow, maybe the best find a baby Fouquieria splendens splendens Ocotillo.
Still germination in the Torote bowl, but the germination dropped to almost zero on our return wash.
Ferocactus cylindraceus California barrel cactus almost in general bloom, we counted 27 in bloom not counting all the plants up on the slopes.
We hoped the Canebrake thunderstorm hit this part of whale peak, but it did not, leaving the desert in it's very dry state.
An excellent time to check out Ericameria teretifolia, Green rabbitbrush, now we know the true home, the number of plants must run in the hundreds along our route.
We found 99 Ericameria teretifolia, Green rabbitbrush in bloom, some must have been in full bloom a month ago.
The happiest Ericameria teretifolia on the shadow side of the canyon and at higher elevations.
To make things more interesting a couple of Ericameria brachylepis, Boundary goldenbush in bloom.
Most of the time the two separate by appearance, to be sure we checked most plants in bloom.
This is prime Nolina parryi, Parry's nolina territory, home to one of the largest, if not THE largest in the park.
Certainly not an easy hike, the scenery is well worth the trouble, the weather was perfect about 60 degrees, sunny and no wind.
This area got about 0.5 Inch of rain on October 13.
Good germination at the start of the hike, very good considering this area borders the real badlands were almost nothing grows.
The germination was there the whole hike, mostly in the wash and better in the western wash.
Very green Lycium brevipes brevipes Common desert thorn at the start of the parking.
Such happy Krameria are rare, the best next to Psorothamnus schottii Indigo bush and Larrea tridentata Creosote bush.
Many Encelia frutescens Button brittlebush in flower, but most still in bud.
Hilaria rigida Big galetta and Larrea tridentata Creosote bush are excelent rain indicators, happy and flowering.
This may be an excelent year for Eremalche rotundifolia Desert five spot and Hesperocallis undulata Desert lily.
After our hike the badlands tour, going up Arroya Salado it was puzzling, if it rained 1.5 Inch farther up the canyon, were did the water go, as the wash is void of germination.
Arroyo Salado camp(ground) is full of baby plants, some flowering annuals and Hesperocallis undulata Desert lily by the hundreds.
Compared to what we've seen in Canebrake, 1.5 Inch seem to be unlikely, more like 0.5 Inch.
Down the rough Ella Wash, hardly any germinations, up Palo Verde wash, some spotty germination, turning into Fault wash the germination was excellent.
Going down Fault wash there was indication of a lot of water, but hardly any germination. We checked the hills, no trace of germination.
Right on Cut across, good germinations, a bit more of the bad kind, this seems to be one of the most promising places. Considerable more bad plants, but not overwhelming yet.
Once up the San Felipe Wash, some germination from water that seems to be originated from the direction of Fonts point.
But the rest up to the Texas dip is just a very dry desert.
The Canebrake (close to June Wash) October 13 thunderstorm lasted for over 1 hour and went up to Whale Peak and returned towards Canebrake.
The 0.56 Inch rain is enough for general germination in a tight area starting at Ironwood canyon up to and just past Canebrake.
In the Ironwood wash the flash flood was an estimate 1 foot, with plenty of germination in the wash.
While hiking up the Ironwood wash we noticed something yellow, no way a big Proboscidea althaeifolia Devil's claw;Desert unicorn plant in bloom.
Along this hike we counted more than 50 plants with about 30 in bloom.
Ferocactus cylindraceus California barrel cactus are very early this year. (but only a couple of plants) This seems to be a good year for Hesperocallis undulata Desert lily in this area, in the Borrego Badlands and the Ocotillo off road area.
Give Krameria a bit of rain and the otherwise almost dead plant turns very much alive, with the help of other plants like Creosote and Indigo bush as it is a semi parasite.
The otherwise brown Larrea tridentata Creosote bush are so happy green right now and most in good bloom.
The above is off course only the case in area's hit by a thunderstorm, the rest of the desert is rather dry.
A bloom and plant list in included in the hike details link.
The bloom count is a combination of Tom Chester's list and ours.
We found iNat entries from Bighorn canyon with flowering plants, unfortunately they turned out to be wrong, probably off by a couple of miles.
The canyon looks medium dry, with Ericameria paniculata Blackbanded rabbitbrush close to end of bloom, some Fouquieria splendens splendens Ocotillo and many Stephanomeria pauciflora Wire lettuce in bloom.
We checked every Ericameria paniculata Blackbanded rabbitbrush, Ericameria teretifolia Green rabbitbrush and Isocoma acradenia eremophila Solitary leaf alkali goldenbush.
Weird that Ericameria teretifolia doesn't manage to go down into Bighorn Canyon, the plants we are finding seem to be on the edges of the bigger population higher up.
One of our goals was to check if the Petalonyx linearis Narrow leaf sandpaper plant survived the summer, and they did in Bighorn and Nolina canyon, probably barely but still producing some bloom.
This indicates Petalonyx linearis Narrow leaf sandpaper plant may not be a waif in this area.
What puzzled us; why are the Epilobium canum latifolium California fuchsia so good looking.
The Chilopsis linearis arcuata Desert willow must hit groundwater as they were fully leafed and happy.
Larry Hendrickson and Terry Hunefeld found a couple of must see plants, so in the swamp we went.
The area closely resembles a dry lake, with all the alkaline plants.
Other parts resemble (dry) springs and seeps.
Finally, we took the time to check out female Atriplex canescens canescens, Four wing saltbush for bloom, the flowers are almost invisible small.
Euthamia occidentalis, Western Goldenrod were still in bloom, so this already made the hike.
We found Laennecia coulteri, Coulter's Horseweed in bloom, another first for us.
What took us by surprise, a high number of Baccharis salicina, Willow Baccharis, in bloom no less. How could we have missed them, while driving by this often as they light up when in fruit.
This is a must go after rain as we found many mystery plants.
On the S78, driving towards the Salton Sea close to the West Butte road, the desert turned much greener, with green Ocotillo and blooming Creosote.
Taking the exit just past the Fish Creek Wash, heading along the gypsum railroad towards the Carrizo wash, still patchy green with germination in the washes that cross the dirt road.
Yes Eriogonum deserticola, Dune buckwheat 2 big plants in full bloom, we already reached our goal for the day.
Heading up the Carrizo wash is actually an easy drive. We did not want to go too far, ending up in the Impact area.
Nice blooming Isocoma acradenia (both varieties, not sure if they are actually the same) and Chilopsis linearis arcuata, Desert willow (white) in full bloom no less.
Great to find baby Chilopsis linearis arcuata Desert willow.
Heading back along the railroad, up to a wash that looked very green when we came in.
Interesting plants and spotty germination, great to find more Ephedra trifurca Long leafed ephedra.
The hike was not too easy, rocky with some boulders.
The bad thing, the railroad and the Carrizo wash double as a firing range, luckily today there wasn't that much activity.
Heading back, turning on the dirt (4x4 next to the Ironwood resort) road heading for blow-sand canyon, on the exit a lot of germination, with good stuff.
More germination towards and in blow-sand canyon, this looks pretty good, we are assured of at least some blooming plants in this area.
A couple of blooming Fouquieria splendens splendens, Ocotillo, the others green.
Slip sliding down blowsand canyon, meeting the San Felipe Wash with a lot of germination along the wash, next up Butte Pass road, here the plants turned brown again.
In Coyote canyon the Ocotillo are leafed out, once in a while with a flower.
Finding the road at first crossing was fun, we drove back to make sure we didn't missed the road. The road is now following the rearranged flowing creek.
Second crossing was simple with some water as usual.
The last part of the road up to third crossing is rough, with a lot of rocks, third crossing is an obstacle, because you can't really see what's in the creek.
Collins valley doesn't look bad, obvious signs of local rain or flooding. Some Pectis papposa papposa, Chinch weed in bloom and a good display of Ericameria paniculata, Blackbanded rabbitbrush.
Going up Sheep canyon is rough with a lot of rocks and boulders, but not much water so we were able to follow the stream bed most of the time.
The area close to the creek is green with a lot of flowering plants in November.
More than 100 Boerhavia coccinea, Scarlet spiderling and Funastrum cynanchoides hartwegii Climbing milkweed in bloom at the start of the hike.
Along the way many Baccharis sergiloides Desert baccharis male and female in bloom, YES the first time we found them in bloom ever.
The first fall was dry, so up we went to check it out, a fern we didn't recognize. Tom Chester ID Woodwardia, we didn't expect such a small plant.
Our goal was to find Lobelia cardinalis pseudosplendens Cardinal flower in bloom at the next fall, but we found no plants at all.
We found several White alder, Alnus rhombifolia we somehow missed on our previous visit, another new plant for us.
On our way back past first crossing a Asclepias subulata, Rush milkweed in bloom.
Tom Chester reports: Very dry conditions. From scissors crossing along the S2, five on our hiking in Rodriguez, one on the drive along oriflamme road, one in shelter valley and three additional along s2 in san felipe valley.
Species in bloom below 3000 feet: 10.