Breaking News: Desert Wildflower Tour?

Cinder Cones National Natural Landmark - Mojave National Preserve

Cinder Cones National Natural Landmark - Mojave National Preserve

This digital composite (eight frames total, digitally assembled) was made on Monday morning at sunrise, in the Mojave National Preserve. You’re seeing here only a handful of the 30+ cinder cones that comprise the Cinder Cones National Natural Landmark (within the Mojave National Preserve).

On this most recent sojourn, I got a first-hand look at the ripe potential for great spring wildflowers in the California desert. Great swaths of the desert are beginning to quickly green up. Although the month of January was virtually dry throughout the state, February started with a bang, and it almost seems like the rainfall has hardly let up since. Because Southern California also received early season rains (Oct-Nov), wildflower seeds and forbs are on track for a potentially excellent bloom.

I’ll be making several more trips and teaching a few private workshops in the desert over the next couple of weeks, and I’ll be closely watching the development of things. If conditions look promising, I’ll offer a short-notice tour (likely limited to six participants) to some of my favorite wildflower locations in the desert. If this tour interests you, please leave open in your schedule the 2nd and 3rd weekend of March! If you are not on my mailing list or on the mailing list of Gordon-Tal Photographic Workshops, please subscribe yourself to one or both , or indicate your interest here by way of reply.

If you’ve not seen or photographed the California desert in stunning carpets of wildflowers, this is an excellent opportunity. Thank you for your interest.

You are visiting the blog of fine art photographer Michael E. Gordon. For additional photos and information, please visit his official website.

6 thoughts on “Breaking News: Desert Wildflower Tour?

  1. Hey MG – nice colorful sky – a little diversion from the Michael Gordon style I have grown accustomed to.

    It is really shaping up to be a good year. I was surprised how many places already had flowers showing as I drove across the Mojave last week. Some nice fields of Lupine forming in Borrego – and numerous pre-bloom Desert Lily. The biggest bummer – lots of mustard!

    I will look forward to your images over the next few weeks.


  2. Hi Ron: as you know, mustard (amongst hundreds of other noxious exotics) is becoming a serious problem in many places.

    As for the photo: what can I say! I’m still a sucker for the occasional pretty color photograph. 🙂

  3. Hi Prashant: Although this technically isn’t a critique forum ;), I appreciate your comment. This photograph isn’t portfolio material for me, nor is it “fine art”. However, it does represent yet another beautiful sunrise that I was awake, alive, and present to witness while on the way to my intended photographic objective.

    Frankly, there’s little dull about being in the field witnessing moments of beauty like this (beats sitting in my office working any day of the week :)).

  4. I like the mustard! If you can be sure it hasn’t been sprayed with any chemical to remove it, all mustards are delicious. The flower heads range from mild to horseradish like (another mustard family plant). The greens, cooked, are good too.

    All kinds of reptiles love grasslands, including the many varieties of mustard we are blessed to have growing here. Many folks are concerned over plants that attract birds which is great, but I also love the reptiles and they need the grasslands.

    As for mustard being invasive, how far back in history do you want to go concerning non native plants? I would personally rather be concerned over non native Eucalyptus, which support about 20 life forms and gum up the beaks of birds yet is common in many of our parks, vs native oaks which support over 150 forms of life.

    In any case, the trails are absolutely beautiful and we are blessed to be able to breathe the clean air and see the great spirit at work.

  5. Hi Helen: thanks for your comment. The question wasn’t directed at me since I didn’t make the mustard comment, but I will answer. How far back do I want to go regarding exotic species? How about for all-time? 🙂 There’s very little positive we can state regarding exotic species: they compete with natives for sunlight, water, and land, and upset the habitat and requirements of hundreds if not thousands of other species. Further, California plants are beautiful and most-suited to our unique climate(s). Why did we ever want to plant exotics to begin with?

    I won’t lie; fields of yellow mustard are beautiful, but this beauty has come at a great price (and will continue to). Mustard is spreading like scourge, and it’s spread is hardly being addressed.

    Take a look at this for starters:

    Thanks for commenting.

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