Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Death Valley Wildflowers 2008

Most of Death Valley National Park, in California, seems pretty barren. Lots of rocky open spaces, bare hills, and a few scattered Creosote bushes bushes and cactus. (This creosote bush is actually covered with yellow blooms.)
But there is a special time of year, when the desert can take on a golden glow as you look out across the flats to the hills.We actually got to be there to see the desert come alive. Along the road in various places you could see these pretty flowers, Desert Gold (Geraea canescens) blooming by the road.
Stop and take a closer look.They are really cheerful, and remind of me of cosmos in my flower garden.
Cotton-Top Cactus weren't blooming, but we could see their fruit covered with dry cottony fibers.Lesser Mojavea (Mohavea breviflora)
Notched-Leaf Phacelia (phacelia crenulata)
Just before I let home, my husband ordered a new 50mm macro lens with a 1:1 ratio. I was so excited to try it. I'm really happy with how it lets me get in so close to the flowers, much closer then my zoom lens that says it has macro. Aren't these Phacelia's stunning. I think they were among my favorites in Death Valley.This plant with a few white flowers was one you could hardly see, because the stems are so slender, and the leaves are found only in a rosette at the base.
It is called Gravel Ghost (Atrichoseris Platyphylla). Notice the pretty pink edges on the white flowers.
I haven't yet discovered the name of this purple flower and saw it only once.
Scented Cryptantha (Cryptantha utahensis) were found often near the desert Gold.
These pretty pink flowers were hard to find, but worth the search. They are called Desert Five-Spot (Eremalche rotundifolia).

5 bouquets of wildflowers (Comment here):

Theresa said...

I loved your flower pictures! I have never been to Death Valley (I hate heat! LOL) but would like to go down to Joshua Tree in the spring to see the wildflowers too. This fall I ordered a macro lens (sold some of my OOP Alice Starmore books on ebay to get the money for it!)but I haven't had much luck with it yet. I have a hard time with the depth of field. I need time to "play" with it and that isn't always easy with three young kiddos! :o)

theysaywordscanbleed said...

It feels like that is one hot place.

Arlene,
Bainbridge Island florist

Pamela said...

I recall a few years ago seeing pictures of when the desert had an extra special blooming year on account of the extra rain. I put it on my to do list. I'm glad you went there, I may have to mark "wildflower went instead of me." ha ha.

I like the pink edged flower best of all. Of course we want you to identify that fragile pink one, too.

Mountain Heather said...

Your unidentified purple flower looks like a notch-leaf phacelia (Phacelia crenulata). I can't really see the leaves, but it looks like the same flower. Your pictures are beautiful. I think the Gravel Ghost is my favorite. I had wondered why that name until I saw your picture. You reallly can't see the plant from a distance except for the little leaves on the gravel.

La Tea Dah said...

Love the flowers! Very pretty and so different than when we go in January. I'd love to go in spring!

LaTeaDah