Reading Time: 2 minutes

I usually make it out to the desert on a couple of weekends every year, but somehow, the desert’s spring has slipped by. It would seem like a waste to miss a year, especially with this year’s super bloom. So I talked myself into driving out, hoping to catch the tail end of the bloom, the window on blooms is pretty narrow and closing fast. I headed out to the Agua Caliente area in Anza-Borrego.

I found the cactus and the brittlebush already in full bloom, usually, they are the last to blossom before the heat chases everything back to seeds, grey stalks, and rusted rock. The cholla, the barrels, the beavertails have beautiful purple and creamy yellow flowers. The yellow bouquets of the brittlebrush dominate.

But everything else is still putting on a show, too, as far as I can tell. The marsh has water and tadpoles, the flowers have butterflies and bees to sex them, and caterpillars to eat them, and whatever those two bugs joined at the butt are doing, the birds are chirping and making whoopee, the annuals are still in bloom, and the mountains wear a coat of green. The perfumes of the flowers are so aromatic, I have to stop to sneeze. Carpets of goldfields stain the desert chapparal yellow. The desert has a fleeting softness to it.

Get A Room!

But the most amazing bloom I saw was on a hillside sloping away from the dropping sun. The backlit flowers of the brittlebush gave the hill a golden aura. I don’t think it possible to exaggerate the saturation of the golden hue in post-processing software, but the picture I took with the iPhone from the car doesn’t do it justice. I had to stop on one of those hairpin turns where I couldn’t see what was coming or going, so I took a few quick pictures and moved on.

Three hours of driving, three hours of hiking, and 300 pictures later, here is what I have to offer. I hope you enjoy the show.

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