Wasteland Wakened~

The Sonoran Desert in Southern California,

is bursting in bloom!

Rains continue into May in the desert which is unheard of.

Note the people midway up the mountain to give you perspective on the scope of of the superbloom which cover many mountains.

Blooming Brittlebush carpet the foothills in vibrant yellow blankets.

This bloom in Whitewater Wildlands Conservancy is ‘Off the Beaten Path.’ Most superbloom areas in Southern California are mobbed with crowds, but even on the weekend, there are very few people here. You hike by yourself in the wilderness.

The river for which the conservancy is named is full of snow melt cascading into the desert from the surrounding mountains,

filling natural resevoirs to capacity with overflow.

Southern California mountains and deserts are happy!

Cheers to you from the desert in May.

Note: I am traveling now and continuing my ‘Off the Beaten Path’ travel destination series as I go.

190 thoughts on “Wasteland Wakened~

    1. It is incredible. The biggest bloom I have seen. I didn’t pick up any scent,but I sure picked up lots of pollen which my allergies did not appreciate! Cheers to you Pauline แƒ“

  1. Wow! That is quite a beautiful show! Such a visual feast.
    It seems that the weather this spring has been very unusual in many places. In the subarctic, we are experiencing temperatures around 26-27C (79-81F); frankly bizarre for this northern locale in May. And because the snow melted so quickly, the water wasnโ€™t able to soak into the still-frozen ground, so now everything is very dry and we are expecting forest fires.

    1. Oh my. And so it goes. Weather patterns altered, upsetting the natural balance of our precious planet and threatening everything that lives here. Sad. แƒ“

  2. We love nature. We are deeply connected to it and it’s my hope we as a race awaken to it more and more each day. Your photography beckons and makes us aware of that connection. Thank you.

  3. Too much of a good spring is wonderful! My soul is awakened just looking at these spectacular shots! เณญเฉง(โ›ใ€œโ›โœฟ)เฉญเณจ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•๐ŸŒˆ

    1. Thank you! California had a record-breaking amount of rain and snow this year, finally putting an end to our many years of drought. It is this precipitation, which is still happening, that created this amazing superbloom แƒ“

  4. How glorious Cindy ! ‘The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.’ – Isaiah 35:1,2 I am reminded from your beautiful photos of the joyous hope and recovery that comes to us through the Lord Jesus.

    1. What a beautiful passage from Isaiah! It describe the entire experience to perfection. God’s beauty at work in the land. Thank & Bless you Ashley แƒ“

  5. Oh Cindy, you keep doing this with such easy charm. The abundant images, beautiful of course – but more the beauty of you allowing us to also see. Might’s welcome a moment for reverie. You know, happy stuff. ๐Ÿ™‚ Last suppose fine by you, but I like explicit – would like to use/share that photo, the first of far folk on the mountain – perspective, yes, and how i feel seeing this. Thank you. Happy trails as well to you.

    1. I am honored. Please feel free to use the photos and thank you so much for asking. Please just the site the source once somewhere. I so appreciate your kind thoughtfulness Neil & take good care my friend แƒ“

      1. Thank you kindly Cindy. I know just the one that caught my eye. And of course, linked credits, not that you need any boost from me, but me, I’d like more folk seeing the wonderful photography you do. Blah blah, I go on. You’re appreciated is my meaning.

  6. Wow! It goes on forever Cindy, those people may disappear into a yellow wilderness forever. Like us, so much rain it has sent it all out of kilter. But in this case what a way to go ๐Ÿ˜€โค๏ธ๐Ÿ™

    1. It is amazing to walk amongst the blooms. It is like wonderland. But, wow, did I ever get the allegry pay back last night! It was worth it though. Cheers to you Mark แƒ“

  7. How beautiful! Is it true that these superblooms occur when there has been a lot of spring rain? I am loving your off the beaten path series!

    1. It is true. California has received record rain and snow this year, causing nature to put on quite an exuberant show! So happy you are enjoying the series. I am enjoying creating it. Cheers to you Jennie แƒ“

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  8. Those rains really made the desert bloom! I haven’t seen anything like that since we move from CA to Illinois years ago right about this time of year.

  9. It won’t be a desert for long with all that rain Cindy. We’ve had a lot of rain too. I guess it’s building up the water table. Enjoy your travels.
    Leslie

  10. Curt Mekemson

    Beautiful, Cindy. Wish I were there to enjoy it. I particularly liked your last photo with the snow covered mountain backdrop. Pretty close to heaven. ๐Ÿ™‚ โ€“Curt

    1. Thanks much Curt. It is truly beautiful here with the snow capped mountain peaks, the rushing snow fed river, and the flowers covering everything. Quite a combination for barren desert! แƒ“

  11. I think “wasteland” is a misnomer. Swamps (marshes, wetlands) are also called wastelands, but there is so much life in these places. Wonderful photos, as usual, Cindy.

  12. I saw some of So Cal’s super bloom on our drive down I-15 in late March. So awesome to see the desert so alive in May! That last image of the desert covered in gold with snow-capped mountains in the background is iconic! You could sell that to Getty images ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. I haven’t been to that preserve; the last time my late husband and I were camping that far south, we were at Joshua Tree — what a great year to explore there! The brittlebush is fascinating to me, because as much as I have traversed up and down California in the last several decades, I don’t think I’ve encountered it. (At least, I didn’t ever enter its name in my blog or computer ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) And considering how much of it is growing down there, that is surprising!!

    Thank you for showing us the glory.

    1. You are so welcome and I am happy you enjoyed! Interesting you should say this. My husband asked me what it was. I have lived here all my life and have seen brittlebush many times in the rocky parts of the desert, but in this profuse, dispersed superbloom, I was stumped. The reason you, and I, didn’t immediately identify it, is because we normally see it as a compact gray shrub, sometimes with yellow daisy like flowers, but I certainly have never seen it put on a show like this! Superblooms in the desert seem to happen in certain areas.

  14. Pingback: Wasteland Wakened~ โ€” – Echoes in the Mist

  15. Seems like this crazy climate change is good here, and bad there.
    Have you ever seen Brittlebush carpet before in this area?
    I wonder, will this become the norm here?
    Will crowds follow?
    Have a great time beating “off the beaten path”!

    1. Yes, it has been bad here for so many years with the drought. It feels like heaven now. These blooms and water flooding in the desert are really ancient occurances. There used to be annual floods, ten year floods, and hundred year floods (which were really bad apparently but I wasn’t here then!) The thing that has been utterly abnormal has been the ten years or so of severe drought, now followed by snow pack in Sierras that has broken all historical records. I hiked to a waterfall in another desert today that looked like something you would see in Canada. This does happen in the desert periodically which you can see from how historical floods carved the land. But the total depletion of water sources in the state from the past ten years is something new and ominous.

  16. I’m glad you found a super bloom without the crowds. I read yesterday that one area closed due to the trampling of the flowers. It’s such a shame. As always, stunning pics, Cindy.

  17. Absolutely stunning. I guess these plants really have to make the most of the rain. I find it interesting that others have commented that lots of people have been out to see the flowers and trampling on them. Were you up at the crack of dawn?

    1. Thank you so much Emma! This place was ‘off the beaten path.’ Few people know about it, so it was sparsely populated. There are other superblooms areas that everyone knows about that are massively crowded. This post is second in a series of posts I am doing on ‘Off the Beaten Path’ places. แƒ“

  18. Ah…Cindy! These shots just speak to the very heart of me! How lovely…how beautiful! Thanks for sharing from your soul…sending lots of good energy your way <3

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