Antelope Valley Wildflowers - April 2011

Now that I'm working most Saturdays I knew it would be difficult to get out to see the wildflowers this year so I figured I might as well take advantage of a beautiful Sunday when I had nothing planned even though it was a bit early in the wildflower season. J and I headed out to the Gorman/Lancaster area to see if we could track down some color. Here's where we ended up:

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When we first got to the area we drove to the actual state reserve but there didn't seem to be much color on those hills. We'd passed a bright area on the way so we backtracked and drove down an unmarked dirt road to get closer to the blooms. We were off 170th street between Avenue D (highway 138) and Avenue F. Here's what we saw (keep in mind that it was incredibly windy so it was a bit difficult to get good shots! Plus, the poppies do not like the wind and even though it was sunny they were a bit closed up).

California poppy
(Eschscholzia californica)

(Lasthenia californica)

Miniature lupine
(Lupinus bicolor)
(Genus Amsinckia)

Redstem filaree
(Erodium cicutarium)
Check out my earlier posts to see what the valley has looked like in years past.

We decided to walk towards the pink hills and found a little stream which was pretty interesting. Algae and all. We also randomly found an overturned SUV in the stream. Again, it was extremely windy but it's also possible the car was a casualty from recent flash floods. We were nervous to look inside but felt a sense of duty and luckily there was no one trapped in it.

Purple Owl's Clover
(Castilleja exserta)

We somehow made it back to the car, fighting the wind the whole way (actually walking backwards!) and decided to stop by the state reserve visitor's center before heading home to see if they knew more about when a more impressive bloom might happen. They have quite a nice display there as well as books, field guides, etc. to purchase. The woman working there was saying that the late rains may result in a late bloom this year but who knows really - it's nature!

You can see more of my photos from this and past trips to Antelope Valley here.

I'm hoping to return in a few weeks to see if there's some more color. I'll keep checking the Southern California Desert Wildflower Report for photographs and reports from people all over the region. Stay tuned!