I am long over due for a promised wildflower update for Anza-Borrego. I have gotten a little carried away with the Desert Bighorns – yesterday we saw some newborn lambs! I’ll share those next week.
I would say, by in large it is turning out to be a pretty good wildflower year, with some big hits and misses. Despite less rain, the flowers are looking better then last year probably in large part to the more seasonable temperatures – last year was much colder. There is a good chance this area might receive more then a half of inch of rain this weekend – it that happens, it could really be a great year!
I’ll start with the misses – the biggest one is the famous fields along Henderson Canyon Road. Historically, this area has been very colorful, and its popularity was helped thanks to its location along a paved road. Last year, Sahara Mustard moved into this area in a big way. This year, there isn’t much in the way of new Mustard growth except along the side of the road where is was freshly graded clear last year, but there aren’t any wildflowers either. It is just large fields of standing dead Sahara Mustard.
Now the hits. The closer you get to the mountains, the better the wildflowers. That area appeared to receive more rain Wednesday, and probably will receive more this weekend. Glorieta Canyon is looking nice, especially with the colorful red chuparosa. There is a nice variety of flowers up Coyote Canyon – not thick fields, but a a range of colors that includes many of the ocotillo. But, the best place has to be Borrego Palm Canyon – not only lots of wildflowers, but I have seen sheep on every visit so far. Borrego Palm Canyon has a lot of brittlebush, chuparosa, ocotillo along with many other blooming wildflowers. I think the surrounding areas will be improving this week, especially with the forecasted rain, but if you are hitting Anza-Borrego this weekend, Borrego Palm Canyon is your best bet right now.
I’ll provide more updates as thing change next week, and as I scout for my upcoming Anza-Borrego photography workshops.