Where Have All The Flowers Gone?
Throughout much of the fall and early winter we had hopes that this year’s wildflower season would be spectacular. Everything looked good. We had above average rainfall last summer and several periods of rain in November and December. That, according to the experts, would set us up for a huge bloom of annuals, just so long as we got some rain in January and February. Optimism was fueled also by the fact that this is an El Niño winter, and that held the prospect for much more abundant than normal winter rains.
And, then, it all fizzled. Much of January and all of February turned out to be much hotter and drier than normal. Indeed, we received exactly zero rainfall during the entire month of February, accompanied by record warmth. In the past few weeks our daytime high temperatures have averaged between about 85 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit, with continuously brilliant sunshine and no rain whatsoever.
Zero rain more or less equals zero wildflowers. The blooms are sparse — sparser than I’ve ever seen them, so far — and finding even one or two, like this lonely Mexican Gold Poppy, is an achievement. In a good year there would be millions of these flowers. This year, I’ve found only a dozen or so, so far.
Obviously, I’m more than a bit disappointed. I had visions of fields of blossoms dancing in my head and all I’ve been able to find is an isolated flower here and there. I will document what I find, however, and will feature some of my images over the next few weeks.
Image made with a Canon 5DS-R, 180 f3.5L Macro Lens assisted by Canon 600EX-RT Speedlite, M setting, ISO 125, f16 @ 1/160.