This weekend could be the last call to see the super bloom of wildflowers at Anza-Borrego Springs State Park, before the clusters of yellow and orange desert blossoms peak and wither.
Jimmy Smith, the Immediate Past President of the Anza-Borrego Foundation spoke with the Times of San Diego, about the fleeting spectacle of these gorgeous blooms which only last several weeks.
“The caterpillars are busy as they can be chewing up the flowers,” said Smith. “I would guess the flowers are probably going to last another three or four days. Maybe up to a week before they are gone.”
All the desert plants have evolved special mechanisms to cope with drought and long periods of dry, grisly weather, explained Smith. With the heavy rainfall this winter, spring has proved to be a dazzling sight for nature lovers.
“This is as good as it gets,” said Smith. “Maybe once every 15 years this happens.”
Although the fleeting bloom of the wildflowers will soon be gone, other amazing sights and curious wonders remain at the park. Smith says the cactus flowers are still starting to bloom and the ocotillo blossoms are just coming out now.
But the beauty of Anza-Borrego State Park extends beyond its wildflowers. Smith pointed out that many people come out to the desert to see all things growing with the green of spring, and the flowers are really just the “tip of the iceberg.”
There’s also fossils still waiting to be discovered out in the backcountry, from animals that lived in the valley in the last eight million years, explained Smith.
“You come out here and when you see these wonderful flowers and the bougainvillea blossoming and the ocotillos starting to blossom,” said Smith. “You feel relaxed and you feel some kind of confidence that things are going to be alright.”
“Nobody has ever seen a phenomenon like this in the valley that has brought this many people,” said Smith.
If another stunning desert bloom is on the horizon next year, there’s no way of knowing for sure. Smith says nature is as unpredictable as the stock market.
“Even though things can look bad at times, especially out here, it all comes back in this cycle,” said Smith.
On Saturday, there were still red ocotillo blossoms, yellow blooms crowning Barrel Cactuses, and bunches of desert sunflowers and cilia blanketing the surrounding hilltops.