Desert Wildflowers

Despite the fact there is still severe drought going on in California, the rains that did fall in our region brought on a beautiful high desert wildflower display. You can see exactly where the rain clouds were because of the carpets of desert dandelions and then they are gone where the clouds stopped. The first ones I saw were three weeks ago along Rt. 395. There was actually a large gravel shoulder there so I wasn’t afraid of stopping but those pics weren’t to my liking. So I planned on stopping again last week, but the sun wasn’t shining and the flowers weren’t open! I found a carpet closer to home, not quite as showy as the first one, but still amazing considering the lack of rain and fertile soil. Also, the wind blows nearly all the time, so excellent photos are few and far between. What looks like blur, is actually the wind blowing.

dandelion field (1 of 1)

I know they don’t look like much compared to green fields in other places, but it is magical that any flowers bloom at all!


dandelions (1 of 1)

A couple of sources told me to check out the road to Saline Valley. I missed the actual road to Saline Valley and went all the way to Eureka Sand Dunes. It was wonderful. But, apologies ahead of time and a plea for help. There are so many kinds of wildflowers, I’m still going back and naming flowers from a post from over a year ago with some Southern California wildflowers: Abundant Wildflowers If you know the names of any the wildflowers (either this post, or the Abundant Wildflowers), please post them in the comment section, because I’d like to know too and I’ll update the blog with the names. For instance, this beauty below, not in my book, can’t find in a quick search of the internet, but beautiful!

So delicate, yet was one of the most prolific. Full washes of nothing but this flower.
So delicate, yet was one of the most prolific. Dry washes were full of nothing but this flower.
Some of this was growing through a crack in the road, so sturdy, yet so delicate looking.
Some of this was growing through a crack in the road, so sturdy, yet so delicate looking. Desert Phlox
Little purple flowers with yellow throats.
Little purple flowers with yellow throats.

There was an interesting Joshua tree a little further into the desert. Just as I was thinking ‘snakes’ I saw this one. It would have been my step after next. He had his head buried in the scrub, I didn’t ask him to move nor did I hang around. So much for the interesting Joshua tree.


I did find this lizard doing his push-ups on the bloom of the Joshua trees in a different spot.

Blooming Joshua tree.
Blooming Joshua tree.

Can you see me now?


Up until the other side of this mountain I’d been traveling up in my car, I had only seen Orange Globemallow. After I crested the top of the mountain and down far enough on the other side for the flowers to start blooming again, I start seeing Lavender Globemallow. At one spot, I saw Orange and Lavender, then I reached the spot where cross-pollination happened with a lovely new shade. Then it went back to all Lavender, then later at the bottom of the valley, they were all orange again! Click on one of the thumbnails to get the slide show started.

A type of vetch. It was by a crack in the road, so I think it received more water than most.
A type of vetch. It was by a crack in the road, so I think it received more water than most.
A thorny little shrub.
A thorny little shrub.

This cactus was in the V of a rock face where other rocks had fallen and the grass hung on too.



Now I had to decide whether to ride all the way down the 12 mile washboard dirt road to Eureka or not. It was late in the day and I wasn’t interested in climbing the dunes. After realizing I’d be mad at myself if I didn’t go ahead to the bottom of the valley, I kept going even though I’d just washed my car the day before. And boy was I rewarded!

The trip out of the valley was accompanied by the setting sun and colors, colors. There will have to be another post, as the flowers in the Westguard Pass are scrumptious!

2 Replies to “Desert Wildflowers”

    1. I went to the Volcanic Tablelands today and found even more different kinds. It’s wonderful to have so many flowers in the desert. They smelled wonderful!


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