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Author Topic: Death Valley Wildflowers  (Read 3846 times)
Peter McLennan
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« on: April 01, 2005, 11:01:54 PM »
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For us poor suffering worker bees, please post a pic so I can cry and sob quietly to myself.

Peter
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wheatcraft
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« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2005, 02:44:27 PM »
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Good idea (posting a pic). I had a computer problem after I got back from Death Valley; as soon as I get that fixed, I'll post a couple of images.

Steve Wheatcraft
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jdlevy
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« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2005, 09:50:47 PM »
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Peter,

Not only were the wildflowers in bloom, the valley floor was flooded. This image is from Badwater at dawn. Truly, I believe, a once in a lifetime experience.

Enjoy!

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Lisa Nikodym
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« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2005, 10:27:14 PM »
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Floods do happen there now & then.  I was staying at Furnace Creek Ranch there once when the steak house was flooded with about six inches of water due to rain.

Lisa
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Hunter
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« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2005, 08:03:51 PM »
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That's Badwater?!

Why do things this interesting happen only after I have moved from California to the sun-forsaken North, where we were still having snow yesterday...*sigh*

When I was last in Death Valley, the only flowers were the little tiny yellow ones and the Mariposa Tulips--and we were happy to have them

Does anyone know if the influx of freshwater at Badwater is hurting the salt-water pup-fish? I would assume it would drastically lower the salinity they are adapted to.
I just got back from Death Valley myself about a week ago- the pup fish are doing fine. I would add that in spite of all the press reports, Death Valley is still not a place to go to shoot wildflowers per se. While the number of wildflowers is unusual for Death Valley, in reality you will have to get down low, and/ or use a telephoto lens to compress the perspective to give the illusion of a "carpet" of wildflowers. The flowers are often more than a yard apart with dirt and rocks in between- it's not the California coast or the Texas hill country- it's still a desert! Having said that, you can get some interesting shots of the flooded salt flats at Badwater and so forth,  just remember that a lot of the salt formations have been washed away by the rain, and many roads are closed do to mudslides.
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wheatcraft
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« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2005, 08:30:11 PM »
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I just returned from a 4-day shoot in Death Valley (March 27-30). You may have heard/read that the wildflower season in Death Valley is spectacular, but that hardly does justice to what I found. If you have the flexibility, I strongly suggest that you drop what you are doing and get to Death Valley immediately! I guarantee that it will be worth your while. You will need to bring camping gear; I doubt you will be able to get into any of the places that have rooms. Stovepipe Wells is probably the best place to stay right now. If you get there before noon, finding a campsite is no problem.

Currently, the best places are: along highway 190, between Grapvine (near Scotty's Castle) and the Stovepipe Wells junction; the Badwater highway, at Ashford Mill, and beyond, towards Salisbury Pass. I would be happy to provide additional information - just email me, wheatcraftso@charter.net.

Steve Wheatcraft
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jdlevy
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« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2005, 11:02:18 PM »
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Here are a couple of pix from my trip to Death Valley in February. It actually rained for three straight days. For those few hours when it was not raining it was the most unique Death Valley visit ever!




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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2005, 06:41:11 PM »
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WOW!  Hard to believe that's DV.  I'm hurtin' bad now.  Real bad.

Peter
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larkvi
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« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2005, 04:13:58 PM »
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That's Badwater?!

Why do things this interesting happen only after I have moved from California to the sun-forsaken North, where we were still having snow yesterday...*sigh*

When I was last in Death Valley, the only flowers were the little tiny yellow ones and the Mariposa Tulips--and we were happy to have them

Does anyone know if the influx of freshwater at Badwater is hurting the salt-water pup-fish? I would assume it would drastically lower the salinity they are adapted to.
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Bobtrips
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« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2005, 12:27:12 AM »
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Why do things this interesting happen only after I have moved from California to the sun-forsaken North, where we were still having snow yesterday...*sigh*
Heck, I live in California and we had snow this morning....
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larkvi
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« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2005, 09:09:17 PM »
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Okay, to be fair, I should have mentioned that I lived in Palo Alto, in the Silicon Valley--I realize there are many parts of the Golden State that snow regularly. I recall that we had snow once about eight-ten years ago, and that everyone was tremendously excited about it. It is a lot easier to be excited about snow when it does not keep you from doing anything you want to do that day, due to melting two feet off the ground...
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didger
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« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2005, 06:29:33 AM »
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I was in DV about 2 weeks ago and some areas were already on the decline wildflower wise, so I'm surprised it's still generally so good now.  A desert area never has carpets as dense as (for example) those California poppy carpets that you get some years in some (non desert) areas, but DV did indeed have lots and lots of areas of pretty good carpets of those yellow daisy type flowers.  If you shoot with your tripod low from just the right position, those carpets do look quite dense and they might cover quite a wide view right from your feet to the horizon; truly amazing and for DV a once in a life time experience.  The last time was about 50 years ago!

If you look around you can also find occasional large patches of other kinds of flowers besides those daisy types that are common everywhere.  There's a smaller yellow kind that grows very close to the ground and there's a couple different kinds of blue/purple types that don't ever form huge dense carpets, but are still quite impressive and rewarding for the photographer.  If you like photographing small patches of flowers without necessarily a very interesting background, you'll be in heaven in DV.

A particular recommendation:  The Artist Drive road is closed due to massive flood damage.  If you're in good hiking shape and you have the time, take a day and walk it (13 miles for the whole loop, including 3.5 miles on the paved road to get back to your starting point).  I was actually glad that road was closed.  You see so much more walking and it was nice to have this maximally spectactular area to myself for a whole day.  Lots and lots of fantastic wildflower clumps, patches, and occasional carpets of several kinds, but also the most colorful and interesting rock/hill/mountain formations.

If you can't get to the desert for a while any other way, why not quit your job?  Your wife (husband, boss, whoever) will forgive you eventually or if not, there will be another job (relationship, whatever) coming along a lot sooner than another desert wildflower year like this.  Just don't give me as a reference for the suggestion.
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