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Wildflower and Plant Descriptions with Photos
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2015 Southern California Wildflower Reports
Mar 28, 2015 Danny Report: Wednesday March 25, west of California City, Kern County.
Mar 28, 2015 Jonathan Report: Stick a fork in the Antelope Valley, 'cause it's done...or is it? As far as the endless vistas of orange poppies that look like someone spilled paint across miles of flatland, yep, I'm sorry to say that's gone for the year. But on the sun-protected, north-facing foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains, there are still some patches of colorful magic that haven't been burned or blown away yet. But hurry, kids! You can find hillsides still showing an orange, yellow, and lavender mix of varieties in one camera frame. Look closely and you see some hints of red Indian Paintbrush, too. Take a deep whiff of the bright purple lupine flowers that smell like a piece of heaven itself. And a special treat if you're lucky enough to find it is a landscape of Joshua Trees on a carpet of yellow Coreopsis with purplish-blue Phacelia decorating the scene.
And where are these hidden gems? The Desert Pines Wildlife Sanctuary. Here's directions from a common point we all know. Start at the corner of Lancaster Road and 170th St. W. (the southwest edge of the Poppy Reserve). Drive west on Lancaster Road about a mile and take your first LEFT (south) onto 180th St. W. Drive over the aqueduct and keep going on a reasonably smooth dirt road until you come to a T-intersection. Turn RIGHT (west) and drive along the foothills with the aqueduct visible out your passenger window. Keep driving and stop anytime you see a pretty-pretty. The road is a mix of dirt and smooth paving but nothing a decent car can't handle. If you drive all the way to the end, you'll drop onto Lancaster Road at about 245th Street W...just about a quarter mile from 138 for an easy drive back home.
The following photos were taken on along this road on Wednesday (3/25), and I think most of this will survive at least through this weekend.
Mar 28, 2015 Dean Report: We went out Tuesday the 24th hoping to see the wildflowers before the forecast heatwave on Thursday finished them off. Starting on Gorman Post Rd. it was windy, 56 degrees and sadly nothing like the photos in the previous report dated the 23rd. There was a subdued splash here and there in the protected areas but not much more. Hoping it might get better as the day warmed and away from the Grapevine we moved eastward on Hwy 138 but alas, we had to resort to memories of bygone times to visualize what it may be once again in the future.
You could see great swaths where the flowers once were but are now just a shadow. But all was not lost, there were a few expansive fields of poppies but rather thinly populated to enjoy. And of course here and there were the cloistered pockets of exuberant color that mesmerize and keep us coming back for more.
Mar 28, 2015 BLM Report: Spring has sprung at the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument! Ranger Stacy photo.
Mar 26, 2015 Daniel Report: On Monday March 23rd, I started out at Santa Margarita. There are a few nice fields of wildflower on both sides of Shell Creek Road and specifically in between Highway 58 and Camatta Creek Road. There are some spots of purple lupine along the roadside. The vegetation surrounding these fields are mostly dried out so I don't know how long these wildflowers will last.
On Monday March 23rd I also visited Figueroa Mountain. After getting the daily action pass across the street in the general store in Olivas, I drove several miles up Figueroa Mountain Road and past the ranger station. I will explain the three best areas of wildflowers that I saw.
1) As mentioned by Morgan and other people, there is a good patch of flowers on Figueroa Mt Rd in between Tunnel Rd (where the grassland area ends) and before the pavement ends at the fork for Vista point. This spot on the uphill left is very photogenic because of the dense concentration of poppies with lupines behind them. Also there is trail right next to the patch & you can just walk up & take pictures next to the flowers. There is also a good patch of flowers on the other side of the road on the downhill slope. Most likely you will see other cars parked on the side of the road at this location.
2) The next good location is going further up the mountain. Where the pavement ends go left at the fork going up 2 1/2 miles toward vista point. My passenger car was able to slowly go up this dirt & sometimes bumpy 1 lane road. If there is a vehicle going the opposite way, both have to find a spot to move over some to make space for one to pass. About halfway up there is a long turnoff to the right that almost looks like a camp spot. There is a good field of flowers here and just before the turnoff.
3) The third location further up is near Vista point. At the Pino Alta picnic area you go past it & keep going up till you get to the sign & fork in the road that goes left to Vista point. A few hundred yards before you get to the Vista Point there are good fields of purple lupines with poppies mixed in with them. From here you also have good views looking down & across from the mountain.
Mar 26, 2015 Bob Report: Red Rock Canyon State Park is in full glory. Rivers of desert dandelions and gold fields can be seen along with other select flowers like owls clover, Mojave Aster, Parry Gilia, Davy Gilia, yellow peppergrass, Desert alyssum and Wallace eriophyllum. Bountiful flowers can be seen on both trails in the campground as well as on Hagan Trail and on the pullout before you get to Red Rock Canyon State Park near the tamarisk trees.
Mar 25, 2015 Shane Report: I did a wildflower photo shoot yesterday. Don't go to the Poppy Fields as they are completely gone due to the heat. The photos were taken 3/24/2015.
Heading west on Lancaster Road from the Antelope Poppy Preserve go straight when it makes the bend north at 190th Street. MapQuest shows this road as Lancaster Rd S. Take this road until the pavement ends (it crosses the California Aqueduct before doing so). If your car's not adverse to washboard dirt roads you can actually drive rite up to the hiking entrance gate. Past the gate, there's dirt road that takes you through the wildflower bloom. It was very windy.
Mar 23, 2015 Derbeh Report: Between Palmdale/Quartz Hill and Gorman, CA. Off Avenue L and 138 highway. Sunday, March 22, 2015.
Along Gorman Post Rd near Gorman. Sunday, March 22, 2015
Mar 23, 2015 Kevin Report: I had an amazing time chasing wildflowers this weekend 3/22/15 near Lancaster and Gorman. There are tons of blooming wildflowers at that region.
Above taken in the outskirt of Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve, along 160th street.
Above were all taken along Gorman Post Rd. There are tons of flowers up the hill. Super Gorgeous!
Mar 23, 2015 Morgan Report: Figueroa mountain road on Saturday 3/21. A half mile beyond the Figueroa Fire Station, there is a nice bloom of poppy and bush lupine along the side of the road. There was also a large patch of sky lupine in a field hidden off the side of the road just after FS road 8N16, adjacent to a dirt access road before Figueroa Campground. With the forecasted heat-wave later this week it is unlikely there will too much left in the near future.
Mar 22, 2015 Dave Report: Thursday, 3/19/15. This hill is visible from the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve. It is close to Fairmont reservoir. Despite the complete absence of poppies at the Reserve, it was still a pleasant day. Weather in the 70’s and no wind.
Mar 22, 2015 Terry Report: Mar 19 - In the Antelope Valley along Lancaster road between 170th and Hwy 138. A mix of Goldfields, Poppies, Blazing stars, Fiddlenecks, interior Goldenbush and Lupine.
Mar 20, 2015 Rens Report: There are miles and miles of beautiful yellow, purple, and white flowers to be seen along CA 245 North which runs between Woodlake, CA and Highway 180. Woodlake, CA is about three hours northeast of Los Angeles. And CA 245 is a beautiful two-lane curvy road with scenery that brings to mind words such as pastoral, bucolic, and serene. The entire drive from Woodlake, CA all the way to Highway 180 is about 55 miles, with the best flowers to be seen at about the midway point( a little bit past the sign that says Drum Valley Road). There are plenty of places to pull over and take photos. These photos were taken on 3/18/15.
Mar 20, 2015 John Report: Monday 3/16 By the time we got to Bear Mountain Road between 58 and Arvin most flowers were closed.
Mar 20, 2015 Cathy Report: These photos were taken along Highway 58 between McKittrick and California Valley on 3-17-15. In the words of the late Huell Howser, “absolutely spectacular”!!! The second photo is a Wind Poppy, the third is a yellow and white striped variety of cream cup I’ve never seen before anywhere. All of these I saw along side the road.
When will the desert wildflowers bloom? We start our report in January, plan your visit to coincide with the peak of the bloom - keep up to date with DesertUSA's Wildflower Reports. Be sure to bookmark this page for weekly updates.
We'd like to see your pictures too. E-mail your digital photos and reports to Jim@desertusa.com. Use Wildflower Report as the subject of your e-mail. Let us know where you took the photo and the date. We will post them on our wildflower reports. Thanks for your support and photos.
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