Wednesday Open Thread: Desert Bloom 2019


t's Day 107 of the Year 2019 CE (Gregorian), meaning that it's April 17, 2019 (Gregorian), or 13.0.6.7.8 by the long count


Globemallow blooming in Cottonwood Canyon; 3/24/17

It is a lot more complex than this, but, per wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desert_bloom)

A desert bloom is a climatic phenomenon that occurs in various deserts around the world. The phenomenon consists of the blossoming of a wide variety of flowers during early-mid spring in years when rainfall is unusually high.

The blossoming occurs when the unusual level of rainfall reach the seeds and bulbs that have been in a latent or dormant state and causes them to germinate and flower in early spring.[1] It is accompanied by the proliferation of insects, birds and small species of lizards.

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We try to get to the desert, usually Anza Borrego Desert State Park (ABDSP), every spring. This year, we hit the middle of a super-bloom. Some stuff had already bloomed out, some was yet to bloom, some we missed because it is huge and different plants occupy different zones. There are also things like forests of ocotillo, which simply don't photograph worth a damn, and also large expanses of agave (Century plants). But, here's some of what we did shoot. Keep in mind that this is desert, rock, gravel, cacti, shrubs, and sand; variety first:

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Image is Globemallow blooming in Cottonwood Canyon; 3/24/17 (Joshua Tree NP) by NPS/Brad Sutton and is public domain

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Its an open thread so have at it. The floor is yours
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QMS's picture

Spikey little devils. Good luck to the pollinators getting past the needles.

Cheers!

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Listen to your higher mind.

enhydra lutris's picture

@QMS
there are sufficient openings in the needles for them to drop on in. Have a great day and thanks for reading.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Wally's picture

@QMS

He-who-shall-not-be-named had another horrible time trying to explain how Bernie won yet again by a large margin in his most recent straw poll. So it seems he's now trying to experiment with a new ranked choice poll.

A lot of candidates are left out of it but when I voted, Bernie was still ranked far ahead of the other 7 candidates in the early voting. There are 8 candidates. The way to play is to markup Bernie as your #1 choice and all the others as #8. Let 'em know you aren't favoring any corporate shills.

Here's the url: https://civs.cs.cornell.edu/cgi-bin/vote.pl?id=E_90f0b01103af6c05&akey=1...

The deadline is tonight, Wednesday, April 17th, 2019, 6:00 PM PDT

If it doesn't take you there, try googling: Condorcet Internet Voting Service Ranked-Choice Democratic Primary Poll

edit: date added and fixed

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skod's picture

@Wally There are a bunch of polls on that Cornell server, some of which are downright hilarious. Like the one about "which of these institutions do you trust the most"? I voted for the most minimal possible trust in the UN, and no trust in anything else. Jeez, throw us a frick'n *bone* here- put "drugs and/or alcohol" on the list, at least.

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We have been in Big Bend National Park during these spring blooms and it is really awe inspiring. Agree the ocitillo is hard to capture. Did get a few shots that turned out heading to Rio Grande Village with the Del Carmen mountains as a backdrop. Will try to find one of these pics. Have a good day and thanks for the OT.

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Life is what you make it, so make it something worthwhile.

This ain't no dress rehearsal!

enhydra lutris's picture

@jakkalbessie
dropping by and have a great one.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Lookout's picture

Thanks for sharing el. So different from my forest ecosystem.

XR continues its week of action...
https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-47947775
Let's hope these actions will save some of our system before we drive our own extinction.

Have a good day y'all!

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

enhydra lutris's picture

@Lookout
the XR update.
Have a good one.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

enhydra lutris's picture

straw poll, and Bernie won it 40% to whatever, ho hum. Somebody posted an "analysis" of this result, and I noted in a couple of spots that it looked like nobody was close to 50%+1, which meant two rounds of voting. Round one - nobody beats 50%; round 2, the SuperDelegates(tm) throw the election to whomever the donor class want to see run. Once I clarified that donor class meant the movers and shakers in the FIRE and MIC sectors of the economy, one davidschor suggested that Kamala would appear to fit the bill and threw out this link: https://www.npr.org/2019/04/16/711812314/tracking-the-money-race-behind-...

Note who is the far and away front runner in large money donations. Oddly enough, I had already figured that it would probably be her based on other information. Zo, all you Berners, you'd better find a way to get to 50+ on the first ballot, because anything else is nothing.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Dawn's Meta's picture

@enhydra lutris @enhydra lutris wonder how it would shake out. Biden is a glittery object, and needs to be gone.

Edit to add: looked at the data - Trump is the winner unless we get a "populist" like Sanders in. He will have another four years to tear the US apart.

I need a garden and a walk in a forest.

Going to London, but looking forward mostly to Scotland. By train, via the Chunnel. Very reasonable, and so fast.

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A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit. Allegedly Greek, but more possibly fairly modern quote.

Consider helping by donating using the button in the upper left hand corner. Thank you.

enhydra lutris's picture

@Dawn's Meta
partly for the vry purpose of fragmenting the vote, and presumably will be persuaded to run for the same reason. Tulsi cannot get a fair shot and won't because she is Satan incarnate, decrying our wars of choice, regime change wars, and MIC in general. Such an idea is impermissable thought crime and she will be appropriately squelched for having it and, worse yet, espousing it.

Enjoy London/Scotland, we talk about someday hitting Ireland and England+Scotland, but who knows if or when.

Thanks for reading and have a great one.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Wally's picture

@enhydra lutris
. . . Not by overall popular vote.

So if Bernie does well in the four early primaries and on Super Tuesday (which includes California and maybe NYS), he'll be in a lot better shape than in 2016 when Clinton racked up multiple southern state victories (where Trump later destroyed her). If he wins Super Tuesday which comes early this time around on March 3, 2020 (they did that to help Kamala but it seems she hasn't lived up to expectations), Bernie will have a damn good shot at pulling it off.

But yes, Bernie does indeed need to win on the first ballot unless the superdelegates are miraculously swayed to support him. And that ain't gonna happen.

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enhydra lutris's picture

@Wally
about state primaries and caucuses and whether and to what extent the delegates from said primaries are distributed en bloc or proportionately. There is also the complication of the allocation of delegates won by drop-outs to front runners. It isn't at all straightforward, but I just wanted to remind everybody of what is lurking behind door number two as it were.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

magiamma's picture

Morning el et al...

Beauty ! Thanks for all the amazing pictures.

More news. They are doing it. I am hopeful

Extinction Rebellion keep control of major London sites into a third day

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/apr/16/extinction-rebellion...

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Stop Climate Change Silence - Start the Conversation

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enhydra lutris's picture

@magiamma @magiamma
really don't and cannot do it justice and even then it is perhaps less striking to those unfamiliar with the normal appearance of things. There was also a seemingly larger than normal hatching of the caterpillar instars of the 5 lined sphynx moth, which is an annual event at roughly the same time every year. They were everywhere in enormous density and in turn, provide a feast for migrating Harris' Hawks which stop on their way north to gorge for a day or so.

Here's a solo unit
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One with my index finger for scale:
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At least 3in this pic (my wife has one with something like 7 or 8 somewhere)
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Have a great one.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

magiamma's picture

@enhydra lutris @enhydra lutris
do justice but they are still stunning. And it must have been awesome (a word I rarely use) to be in the midst of it all. Truly. So good to hear about the bounty for the hawks. I can imagine the smell if the sage. Thanks again. Have a good one...

Btw I bet the cacti up at the arboretum in bezerkley are worth seeing about now. Edit

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dystopian's picture

@enhydra lutris EL, I think you might mean migrant Swainson's Hawk? They migrate through in large numbers in spring. The ones you see in flocks in plowed fields sometimes too, big on grasshoppers as well, but any protein smorgasbord will do.

Harris's Hawk are not migratory, though in the last two decades they have expanded their range into SE California, including I think maybe a pair nested around Borrego somewhere a couple or few years ago. Like Caracara and Black Vulture, all 3 have begun occurring in CA the last 20 years or so. South is pushing north.

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We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
both - Albert Einstein

enhydra lutris's picture

@dystopian
the wrong bird. It would be a bit bizarre to see a caracara up here, or even a black vulture, though, now that I think of it, it would be really cool to see a caracara here. I don't think I've ever seen one north of La Paz.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Then again, Mother Nature can be a real mother, can't she? And not in a good way.

I once considered living in San Antonio TX seriously enough to get on a plane to look at some homes with real estate agents. In the process, I saw some sad looking front yards. When I commented, the real estate agent explained to me that San Antonio offered real estate breaks to home owners who planted "drought resistant" plants, rather than seeking a conventional grass lawn. I was embarrassed by own ignorance, but what a great idea! However, I do hasten to add that none of the lawns I saw had beautiful desert blooms. Mostly, they looked as though the residents of the home had given up on the front yard.

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enhydra lutris's picture

@HenryAWallace
scrub, especially against a proper background. A good bloom requires some serious wet closely followed by a decent helping of heat to kick off germination, hence they don't always happen following "wet" years such as CA el niños. We've all been conditioned toward lawns and flower gardens by numerous factors, but I'm tending to prefer native plant habitats, whatever they may be, and/or vegetable gardens. In much of Cal, that means scattered dry scrub sage and bunch grasses, but hey, that's what the native fuana like too.

Thanks for reading and have a great one.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

dystopian's picture

@HenryAWallace xeriscapes are very popular anywhere westward where water is an issue. You probably saw some bare bones minimal weak stuff. The idea is to plant natives which are used to the local drought regimens in particular. Done right they become an oasis of green shrubs, which bloom after every rain in many cases, and all year in say coastal socal. Where it freezes they can get fairly dormant appearing a couple months maybe. Low to no water and native flowers. It is a win-win over lawns, fertilizer and pesticides being washed into the system.

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5 users have voted.

We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
both - Albert Einstein

@dystopian

incentive to lay off a scarce water supply is probably the way to go. And conserving water in San Antonio is a higher use of a front yard than a lawn, no matter how poorly or brilliantly planned a given front yard was. It was just new to my eyes and, before I got the explanation, I leapt to what seemed like an obvious conclusion.

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@HenryAWallace
the 30 bucks i won at bar trivia last night, which depended in the end on my being able to name either of FDR's first two vice presidents -- which i was only able to do because one day a while back i decided to investigate the source of your handle.

so, yeah, thanks for that, it'll buy me a pitcher and a basket of fries next week.

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The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

Thank you for the photographs; nature, or should I say life, rarely fails to amaze me.

Desert rose
Dreamed I saw a desert rose
Dress torn in ribbons and in bows
Like a siren she calls to me

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Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

enhydra lutris's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal
realize that I'm quite lucky to live where I do and to be able to get out there and enjoy the sights and such as often as I do.

Thanks for reading and have a great one.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

dystopian's picture

GREAT pix EL! Thanks for lettin' us have a peek in at it. Borrego is beautiful. Probably multiple camping trips there every year of my childhood. Did you do Agua Caliente?

Much of the year many deserts look so barren and bleak. But there is a time, when precious water comes in sufficient amounts, that it comes alive to levels most can't imagine. Oceans of color from horizon to horizon, as far as you can see or drive in any direction. It is quick and fast, a week or two for peak, maybe a month at most for the whole show.
Timing is everything, besides if the water came in winter.

Of course in the west you often have mountains around and so one can chase the bloom elevationally as spring proceeds upslope. Those low deserts go fast and early. In general especially migrant landbirds are where the bugs are, and the bugs are where the bloom is. As spring progresses each couple weeks you move upslope to 2000, then 4000 feet and can still be in peak spring bloom. Above and below the bloom zone often have seemingly nothing, the bloom zone is bonkers with activity. If you have some real mountains like in CA, you can do this into May and June up at 8000' and higher. The bloom is where the action is.

Great cacti pix, is there anyone that doesn't like cactus? Besides those that lost a battle with Giant Jumping Cholla. Or grabbed a Beavertail and said "look no spines" just before they realized they were wrong. All that protection, a nearly fierce appearance, with the most delicate beautiful flowers, and often awesome fruit, which are invariably popular wildlife items. A fair number of them are moth pollenated at night methinks.
They have the tongue for that. I believe Saguaro are mostly pollenated by bats, as are a few other things, maybe Century Plant and some other Yuccas. There was a bat cam in AZ of bats hitting a hummingbird feeder at night, lots of them are nectar junkies/pollenators.

Thanks for sharing some of the desert with us! Great stuff EL.

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We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
both - Albert Einstein

enhydra lutris's picture

@dystopian
We skipped Agua Caliente this year, though we usually try to spend one afternoon there. In fact, we didn't get too far west of Yaqui Well on this trip since we went inland straight up Montezuma grade instead of our usual ramble out to scissors crossing and then up San Felipe Road. Like you, I was out there often as a kid with the family going out camping, picnicking, or just roaming multiple times per year. We skipped Ocotillo Wells this year too. We stopped by the evening hawk watch site one evening and pretty much struck out, but learned of Little Surprise Canyon (Little Surprise Valley?). It runs to the south off of the trailhead lot for Hellhole Canyon, and really was a surprise, a lot of blooms, including ghost flowers. The fiddlehead (03262019-71) and bush in 03262019-64 were up there. It climbs up somewhat parallel to Montezuma Grade. Thee are a couple of ghost flowers from there in this pic
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Have a good one.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

dystopian's picture

@enhydra lutris wow very cool neat flower... I have heard of that canyon, some birders go there methinks.

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We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
both - Albert Einstein

enhydra lutris's picture

@dystopian
Agua Caliente, Tamarisk Grove, and the approaches to Elephant Trees and Split Mountain. Also the ancient village site out Mine Wash. Then again, I didn't start birding until long after I moved to the Bay Area. I suspect that all of San Felipe Wash would be good, it's simpl a question of how far you wish to walk and how much time you wish to spend sitting in hot sun. Tamarisk has the added benefit of a decent chance to spot some borrego on the ridge west of Yaqui Pass.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

enhydra lutris's picture

Enjoy.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

dystopian's picture

I saw Eric do this a couple times... amazing player, beautiful song...

Just in case the embed doesn't work a link:
https://youtu.be/94WnZu2TwII

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We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
both - Albert Einstein

Anja Geitz's picture

Must've been fun taking them!

My mother used to raise succulents and every now and then they'd surprise her and bloom.

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

enhydra lutris's picture

@Anja Geitz
every year, must be the local climate.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

mhagle's picture

I have never traveled west or to deserts. We have cactus here with fabulous yellow blooms in June.

I enjoyed your pics very much. Thanks!

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Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

enhydra lutris's picture

@mhagle
in AZ or CA during late fall thru early spring, don't pass it up. It is a very different world with a very different aesthetic and an odd serenity all of its own.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

mhagle's picture

@enhydra lutris

And I have family (1st cousins) in California, Oregon, and Washington. It would be a great trip.

Jesus only went into the desert to pray. Not the temple. Yes, I need to see a real desert.

Thanks again for the fabulous view. Smile

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Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

dystopian's picture

@mhagle The yellow cactus flowers all over Texas are the Prickly Pear Cactus, which is the famous of song, Yellow Rose of Texas. Delicious jelly from the fruit. The Bluebonnet won as state flower by ONE VOTE. John Nance Garner, V.P. under FDR campaigned for the Prickly Pear as many Texans never saw a bluebonnet, all have seen the Prickly Pear. He got the nickname Cactus Jack due to his long campaign against the Bluebonnet. He was from Uvalde and moved back into the house he left when he left the White House. Garner St. Pk. was his families summer place on the Frio River.

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We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
both - Albert Einstein

mhagle's picture

@dystopian

Thanks for this history lesson! Blue bonnets are cool . . . true. But the yellow roses on the prickly pear cacti are exquisite. And I need to start eating those cacti. I didn't know how delicious they are until I ordered beef with cacti at a local cook from scratch restaurant. Wow. And I still have not tried the fruit.

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Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

lotlizard's picture

Makes me want to go out right now and frolic in the morning sun!

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enhydra lutris's picture

@lotlizard

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Unabashed Liberal's picture

wanted to swing by, and say 'thank you' for the gorgeous desert shots.

(I've lived in quite a few, and varying terrains, but, not much in, or near the desert. Which is all the more reason that your photos are so interesting to me.)

Have a nice weekend!

Mollie

I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive.
~~Gilda Radner, Comedienne

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Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.