Carrizo Plain National Monument
Santa Margarita, California
April 24-27, 2023

The main draw of a super bloom is the solid blanket of fragrant flowers covering fields, hillsides, and mountains. Photography can never convey the actual sensation of standing in the midst of the vast floral extravaganza.

As much as I like trying to share the sheer magnitude of a super bloom, I also like focusing closely on the individual flowers that make up the bloom, like getting to know an individual character in an ensemble cast. Often, macro photography can reveal more effectively the beauty, subtlety and magic of the many forms of flowers.

Over the 4-6 week period of a super bloom, a variety of flower species appear in succession, like slowly rolling waves of changing shapes and colors. So depending on whether you come at the beginning, middle or end, you will see a different palette of blooms. Yellows – with hints of gold and orange – were the dominant colors on this visit. Even when pinks or blues were sprinkled generously among them, the yellows outshone everything else.

During this trip, I did not focus on individuals as much as I have in the past. However, below are some of the characters that made up the beauty and richness of the Carrizo Plain super bloom.

Most of the flowers I’ve been able to identify but a few haven’t. Those labels may come later.

Flowers grow in as many diverse hues, forms, designs and geometric shapes as anything on earth. They capture the full celebration of colors and throw them together in brilliant, intricate patterns. Awe and joy are my inescapable response.

Please leave a comment below so I know you were here!

Share this story with your online network!