A series of storms have dumped feet of snow and rain in some parts of Northern California. And Southern California had its wettest December in several years. Southern California’s deserts and hillsides are ablaze with color after a wet winter spurred what scientists say is the biggest wildflower bloom in years. Golden California poppies, the state’s flower, blanket hillsides along busy high-desert roads and freeways around Lake Elsinore in Riverside County. At Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in San Diego County, the desert blooms with purple Canterbury Bells, red Monkey Flower, white Desert Lily and more poppies. Since we visit California every few weeks to visit my grandson, we have had the privilege to see the “greening” of Southern California in person albeit in Santa Clarita.
In Santa Clarita the hillsides are incredibly green, especially considering their usual color is a pale brown. What California is actually seeing this winter was what experts had expected last year, as a massive El Niño, a warming of ocean temperatures in the Pacific Ocean, developed. The storms have benefited some Southern California reservoirs, with Castaic Lake at about 71% of capacity Monday. Northern California’s windfall has allowed water to flow into Diamond Valley Lake, a critical reserve for Southern California. The giant reservoir is now at 72% of capacity, up from 37% from about a year ago.
Vasquez Rocks, located in the high desert near Agua Dulce Springs, features 932 acres of spectacular rock formations, Tataviam Indian sites, and a seasonal stream. The rocks’ history began in prehistoric times when the sandstone rocks were uplifted at a picturesque angle, showing their jagged red features. In 1874 Tiburcio Vasquez, one of California’s most notorious bandits, used these rocks to elude capture by law enforcement. His name has since been associated with this geologic feature. The park is a popular hiking, picnicking, and equestrian area and has been used in many hit movies, television shows and commercials. The wet weather has made this area especially green.
Santa Clarita Gardens
In addition to the wildflowers, the gardens in Los Angelas are booming, especially in the garden suburb of Santa Clarita. I hope you enjoyed the post, please leave a comment.
California Wildflowers: http://www.abdnha.org/pages/03flora/reports/current.htm
Desert Wildflowers: http://www.desertusa.com/wildflo/ca.html
Sent from my iPad