This winter, California experienced epic rainfall. Mudslides, flooding, and other complications wreaked havoc across the state. Despite all this, after several long years of drought, residents welcomed the much needed rain. Rivers and lakes are once again flowing. The landscape across the state is green, and the barren desert is bursting with flowers. Specifically, an area north-east of San Diego is experiencing a true California super bloom.
A super bloom is when mass amounts of desert plants bloom simultaneously. Typically this happens in an area every decade or so. However, with California’s long term drought, experts haven’t seen a super bloom this impressive in several decades. This year’s California super bloom is concentrated in the 1,000-square-mile Anza-Borrego State Park. The bloom is so dramatic that it can be seen from space!
The desert in this area received a record rainfall total of six and a half inches from December to February (source). Afterwards, the area experienced two weeks of 90-degree temperatures setting the stage perfectly for the dormant seeds to germinate.
As a result of the amazing wildflower bloom, wildlife is also “blooming”. Specifically the sphinx moth caterpillars that are dining on the acres and acres of new food source. The caterpillars in turn are attracting droves of Swainson hawks on their annual 6,000-mile migration from Argentina.
Visitors are flocking to the area from across the globe. Park rangers are pleading with guests to stay on the trails, don’t pick the flowers, and keep up with your own trash. The bloom is expected to continue through the month of May. Some experts predict that this particular scale of super bloom will be a once in a lifetime display. So, if you are anywhere near this area, I suggest making the effort to experience this magic.
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