Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 5, 2019

Anza-Borrego Wildflowers 2/4/19- updated

Anza-Borrego Wildflowers Guide reports

Anza-Borrego Desert right now.
In Rattle snake canyon we recorded the best variation in flowers of the season. A staggering 73, pretty amazing for early February.

Anza Borrego Desert State Park has the following wildflower update and video

February 4, 2019

With almost four inches of rain since July, we anticipate widespread bloom of flowers in February and March.  Some flowers are blooming along S22 east of mile marker 30, in response to heavy fall rains in that area.

Lots of variables affect the extent of the spring wildflower bloom. For a good synopsis of what to expect this year, click here for a forecast from former Park Superintendent Mark Jorgensen.

 

Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association has a new detailed report

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park© 2018-19 “Season”
Bloom Analysis and Prediction
As updated 02/04/19
Kate Harper, Desert Research Botanist

 We appear to be heading into a lovely 2-pulse 2018-19 Bloom “Season”.

The first BLOOM pulse is peaking now. What triggered this first pulse of flowers?

We had significant rain in spotty areas of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park© (the Park) on October 12, 2018. It was still hot in the Park, but it was cooling off from the peak summer heat. It appears that the temperature was still warm enough to trigger the germination of some monsoonal annuals (seeds triggered by summer storms), and just cooled-down-enough to trigger the germination of some “spring” annuals (calendar winter, but what we in the desert call spring). Along with the annual flowers, the shrubs and subshrubs have responded with new leaves and their own beautiful flowers.

So, right now, as we enter February 2019, we are in the peak of flowers for the first pulse. BUT, just in the spotty areas that received the thunderstorm rain on October 12, 2018. Unfortunately, none of the popular close-to-Borrego-Springs-village flower-field areas are included in this spotty early bloom. For flower areas easiest to access from Christmas Circle right now, try driving out S22 to mile marker 31. On the left (north) side of the road is a sweeping south-facing sandy area brimming with color and blooms. Proceeding a few more miles east on S22, Arroyo Salado (primitive camp) is gorgeous now.

What has triggered the coming second, more common “spring” pulse of blooming?
The Park received 0.39 inch of rain in a November 29-30, 2018 storm. This is not enough rain to trigger widespread germination, BUT it is enough rain to soften the dry surface of the soil and to make the soil receptive to additional rain without run off. And, so what do you want after such a preparatory rain? A storm of at least 1 inch. And, the Park got it! A storm event on December 5-6, 2018 delivered 1.05 inches of rain. That gave the Park enough rain to trigger the germination of many of our “Spring” annuals.
Think of the desert in the “Spring” like you would think about planting and watering a garden.
After you have the seeds in, all experts advise, “Give your garden a good soaking.” That is what the December 5-6, 2018 storm did that delivered 1.05 inches.
– Then, what do the garden experts tell you? They say, “Water at regular intervals.” And, voila! The skies have delivered just such a watering regime. ·
– To date:
A semi-soaking on December 31, 2018 of 0.52 inch.
A nice interval watering on January 6, 2019 of 0.11 inch.
Another nice interval watering on January 12, 2019 of 0.14 inch.
Another semi-soaking in a January 14-17, 2019 storm event of 0.71 inch.
AND another semi-soaking in a January 31-Feb2, 2019 storm event of 0.74 inch.

So, does this guarantee us a Bursting-with-Blooms “Spring” this year? Yes! Almost
.
Only 2 kinds of events could derail a Bursting-with-Blooms “Spring” this year: multiple days of freezing temperatures or multiple days of super-hot temperatures. Either of these could impact the plants. ∞∞∞∞   BUT, barring those events, we are ON for a Bursting-with-Blooms year   ∞∞∞∞ ∞∞∞∞  in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park©!

 

 


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