Desert Wildflowers
Juniper Hills CA
7:00 PM, 23 May 1998

It's May 27th and it's raining. I've more or less given up hope that it will ever stop. Our yard has had 70" of rain so far this long wet season. Grumble.

But last Saturday near sunset I found myself at the desert place in Juniper Hills, and El Niņo appeared in an entirely new light.

Yellows and blues dominate, but close to the ground there are lots of red colors too.

Just before sunset is the only time sunlight hits the underside of the old Juniper on the edge of the big gully.

My mother says this is a Mariposa Lily. Anyway, it was asleep for the night. There were others, each as isolated as this one.

It's impossible to escape the smell of sage.

Is this the desert, or what? Even the grass is spectacular. The most astonishing part is the scope of this gigantic flower garden.

It's hard to walk around without the feeling that you're rudely stomping around in something delicate, but I managed.

If you look closely at a stalk of sage blossoms, you discover a complex color mixture - reds, other-worldly blues, lavender. This must be why they appear to change colors readily in different lighting conditions.

While I ran around shooting pictures like a man crazed, my mother picked flowers. Two days later they still lit up the air with the smell of sage.

The ground is carpeted by a spray of tiny low-growing flowers, in exceptionally bright colors.

If you look closely you can see that they're wonderful. Even though they're tiny you can't miss them, because they're everywhere.

The flowers in the pictures above are giants compared to the tiny white daisy-like flower at the very bottom of the picture below. The diameter of the blossom is way below 1/16". The larger flowers in the center of the picture might possibly stand an inch off the ground

This page created 5/27/98.

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