Saturday, April 24, 2010
Day 338 was our trip to Death Valley. March 2005 was Death Valley's big famous bloom. LA & the surrounding areas had had a very wet winter, and that apparently means that Death Valley retains the moisture and allows a plethora of wildflowers to bloom. So LV and a few friends and I made the trip back then. That was about a week before it became enormously popular and the park was flooded with visitors.
This past winter had apparently been similar in its rainfall and moistness but we weren't quite sure the bloom would be reminiscent of the Great Bloom of 2005.
I've uploaded pictures both from this time and last time to a flickr set here for you to look more indepth. I've included a few comparisons here. There's certainly flowers that we found last time that we didn't find this time, and there were definitely flowers we found anew this time around.
A quick summary of both trips:
2005: original Great Bloom, a night in the sand dunes, discovering dodder (a bright orange parasitic plant), seeing actually water in Badwater Basin.
2010: almost-as-good bloom, a hike in the warm sand dunes, discovering what dodder actually is called, seeing oodles of salt and feeling temperatures up to 101° while in Death Valley and understanding its name, discovering tiny but hardy new-to-us flowers.
2005 View from Natural Bridge Trailhead:
2010 View from Natural Bridge Trailhead:
(See the water?)
(No water here.)
Some of my wildflower favorites, labeled properly thanks to a handy brochure I picked up at the Visitor's Center. Incidentally, our trip in 2010 coincided with Free Week in National Parks.
These flowers were so tiny that we almost missed them. I wished I had thought to put a penny down so you could see the scale. The gravel below them is small... and doesn't look like it in the photo.
Same here, very tiny flowers...
We found TONS of these, and LV thinks we didn't find many last time.
I think I need to hope for a good rain again in 5 years and make another trip. A CA tradition, perhaps?