MySecretGarden

U.S.A., Washington State. USDA zone 8a. Sunset climate zone 5

Blog Archive

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wildflowers And Rainbow Rocks


*
How could people give such an awful name to this incredible place? Death Valley - this is where we spent the last days of our spring break. This is the answer: During the California gold rush, a group of pioneers decided, against the warning of their wagon master, to take a shortcut across an unknown desert of the West. Only one group member died in the valley, but as the party exited through Panamint Mountains, one man looked back and said, "Goodbye, Death Valley".

Early spring was a good time to visit Death Valley. It is the hottest and driest place in the United States. A temperature of 134 degrees F, the second-highest ever recorded in the world, was noted in 1913. Only the Sahara Desert in Libya has ever beaten that record - 136 degrees in 1922. The valley gets less than 2 inches (5 cm) of rain per year. Higher elevations are cooler than the low valley: temperatures drop 3 to 5 degrees with every 1,000 vertical feet. The highest peaks receive about 15 inches of rain annually. On average, Death Valley is the hottest place in the world. The hottest month is July, when an average temperature is 116 degrees F.

Surreal was the word which comes in mind when I look at these landscapes.


*
While some rocks looked absolutely bare, others hosted plants which successfully adapted to the land of brutal heat.

*

*
Wild flowers were starting to bloom when we were there - end of March, beginning of April. The peak of their bloom was expected to be a couple of weeks later. Nevertheless, I enjoyed those flowers which we saw.


*
Most of them were yellow and purple. But, we also saw whitish-pink and red-orange blooms.


*
Most of the plants that flower are desert annuals (ephemerals). Colors range from white and yellow to purple, blue, red and bright magenta.


*

*

*
Some of the valley's plants and wildflowers are: desert star, blazing star, desert gold, mimulus, encelia, poppies, verbena, evening primrose, phacelia, cacti, desert paintbrush, mojave desert rue, lupine, joshua tree, panamint daisies.



*
All together, there are over 1,000 plant species in Death Valley National Park, including 13 species of cactus and 23 endemics.


*
In the picture below, there is a hint of how the valley could look when its flowers are in full bloom: do you see the ground getting covered by yellow?


*
The flowers were not the only colorful thing in the valley.
Artist's Palette enchanted us with its fantastic rocks.


*
We saw yellow, sea green, blue and salmon pink mineral deposits while driving on a one-way road which, at times, reminded us of a rollercoaster with its dives and turns.


*

*
North America's lowest point is in Death Valley! It was exciting to be at sea level.


*
But wait! In the next picture, do you see a white rectangular spot almost in the middle? That white sign, up there, marks sea level! We were much below it, on the salt flats.



*
The Badwater Basin salt pan, at 282 feet below sea level, is the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere!


It was cool to walk on the salt toward mountains with white snow peaks!
*
One of our favorite places was Mosaic Canyon. It is considered to be a geologic wonder which is famous for its polished rocks.


*
*
In 1837, borax deposits were discovered in the region. They used 20-mule team wagons to haul the processed mineral 165 miles across the desert to the railroad in Mojave.


*



Credit: Death Valley. Your Complete Guide To The Parks.
Beautiful pictures of Death Valley wild flowers can be seen here: http://www.desertusa.com/wildflo/ca_dv.html . This is one of the desertusa.com photos:


************

Join Gail at clay and limestone for a Wildflower Wednesday.
My reports about two other sections of our 2010 spring break are here:
Aah... Enchanted Garden In Sin City, Are You Afraid Of Heights?, ...Nowhere Else On Earth

Copyright 2010 TatyanaS

34 comments:

  1. These just get better and better.

    ReplyDelete
  2. It seems we should rename 'Death Valley' to 'Teeming with Life' Valley. I had no idea there were so many wildflowers there!

    ReplyDelete
  3. What great pictures. You're right, the name DOES NOT match the place!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Pretty wildflowers. And some of the rock formations are very attractive too. Love that first one! So that's where 20 Mule Team Borax soap got it's name. Hmmmmm.
    Looks like you were coming home from CA as we were leaving. I didn't get near the wildflower pictures I wanted but still trying to figure out my new camera even though I'm using auto.
    Great post Tatyana and very informative as always.

    ReplyDelete
  5. What an awesome place. I am in awe of it's beauty and the Creator that made this for us to enjoy. I so enjoyed this tour of Death Valley. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wow, thanks for the tour. It is hard to believe that any plants can live in such a harsh, but beautiful environment. CArla

    ReplyDelete
  7. Never been there! It's stunning but also a bit scary because of the forces that formed the rocks and the desert. Great tour!

    ReplyDelete
  8. What a fantastic trip. I love how the rocks in this post "bloom" in their own colorful way, just as all the beautiful wildflowers do. I'm enjoying wandering around your other older posts too.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I remember driving through Death Valley when we were little kids and being afraid of the name alone. I enjoyed your pictures, I don't think I appreciated the scenery much back then. It's just amazing what beautiful flowers grow in a place like that.

    ReplyDelete
  10. These flowers are absolutely amazing in that they can live and bloom in such a place. It is beautiful here in a terrifying way.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Gorgeous photos..loved these!

    ReplyDelete
  12. You are such a great tour guide!! What an amazing place and wonderful photos. I would love to see this first hand.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Flowers never fails their mission, to put colors on canvas, to bring about smiles from onlookers, to make bees and butterflies happy and look forward to another day. The flowers bloom on rocks and bring life to the death valley!!

    ~bangchik

    ReplyDelete
  14. I think Mosaic canyon was my favourite :D

    It always amazes me that anything can grow, and flower, in such harsh conditions. I love evolution :D

    ReplyDelete
  15. What spectacular scenery and interesting comentary. I feel as if I have travelled with you Tatyana

    ReplyDelete
  16. You have captured some of natures spectacular wonders. The West is the place where grandeur is common.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Love the flowers on the ledge. You've inspired me to want to travel to Death Valley.
    http://beyondmygarden.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  18. wow another breathtaking post - those photos are just amazing. Incredible how those little plants can cope with those extremes of temperature. I really was surprised to see so many. I thought nothing would have survived there.

    ReplyDelete
  19. What a beautiful place! I love the way that rock has grooves running down it in the 2nd shot. Thanks for the tour. :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. I had no idea that it was that pretty! Great photos.

    ReplyDelete
  21. aloha tatyana,

    the colors are amazing, i've never been to this dessert during the spring blooms...love the history lesson and tour, thanks for showing us these wonders.

    come and visit my hot meme for friday :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. Such vibrant colors. I like the contrast....living beautiful flowers thriving in death valley splendor.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Wow, you can take some great pictures ! Thanks so much for sharing this trip, Gina

    ReplyDelete
  24. I've enjoyed these posts on your trip...your photos are so good! I would like to go out there someday, and after seeing your photos, I hope that days is sooner, rather than later! What a fun spring break you all had;-)

    ReplyDelete
  25. Patsi 'Garden Endeavors'April 29, 2010

    Patsi 'Garden Endeavors' said...
    Thanks for sharing the trip. Amazing that there are 1,000 plant species...who would have known.
    Super pics of the Valley, the rock formation looks like it from another planet !!
    Amazing field of poppies ?


    Did I tell you thanks for the seeds.
    My memory seems to be failing me...I started wild poppy and foxglove seeds believe from you. Recall the name on the package was Tatyana from Washington state...hope it was you.

    April 29, 2010 3:07

    ReplyDelete
  26. Yet another great post Tatyana! I love the way you let us see the country thrue your eyes! This place is amazing and so beautiful. Very interesting post, I think I'll have to look at those pictures once again / gittan

    ReplyDelete
  27. beautiful photo's. I didnt expect to see flower sin the desert.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Absolutely stunning!!! Must be so many unusual native plants in that place - thank you for sharing

    ReplyDelete
  29. TY for sharing your exquisite pics of your trip.

    Have a great weekend.
    TTFN ~ Hugs of love, Marydon

    ReplyDelete
  30. Beautiful tour Tatyana. I don't think I've been in Death Valley but have heard a lot about it. I didn't know about the colorful and carved rocks though. I've seen such at Badlands, Arches etc but did not know they were at Death Valley too. They're beautiful. It's amazing there are wildflowers there at all, it's such a harsh environment. I especially like those blue-violet ones. You look like a model as you're pointing at the sign.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Wow, a truly amazing post, Tatyana, that you have captured beautifully. Surreal, some shots read like another planet!

    ReplyDelete
  32. It's late, I should be in bed, asleep...but I couldn't resist reading your post, Tatyana. OMGosh. Beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Stunning scenery Tatyana! Your photography captures the utter magnificence of the land... the folds and curves and mighty mountains! The wildflowers ... Wow! What a treat to see these and they make me want to visit this time of year. Thank you!!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for stopping by and for your comment! I appreciate your time! See you soon on your blog!

Search This Blog

Loading...

Follow by Email

Share it

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

I'M GLAD TO SEE YOU!

Copyright 2009-2014 TatyanaS, MySecretGarden Blog



My New Plants Fundraising!

-->