Photograph of steep mountain in Carrizo Plain painted in orange, blue, lavender, and yellow wildflowers.
painted mountains in Carrizo Plain

rare white bentham lupine

Photograph of rare white Bentham lupine surrounded by hundreds of thousands of deep blue wildflowers.
A lone white Bentham lupine standing out amongst hundreds of thousands of deep blue Bentham lupines that covered miles and miles of hills, even rarer than the white owl’s clover. Gorman CA 2003

Mega wildflower events are rarer than most people think. These auroras of the desert occur less frequently than those in the Arctic.

lifting morning fog in Anza Borrego

Photograph of pink desert wildflowers with morning fog in Anza Borrego State Park.
Lifting morning fog over pink sand verbena (Abronia villosa) wildflowers in Anza Borrego State Park 1998.

sometimes a landscape no one imagines anything of, can do things no one could ever imagine

photograph of dry desert photograph of desert in bloom
Desert Wildflowers of Tejon Ranch 1988

high noon over a rainbow desert

Photograph of rainbow of colorful desert wildflowers blooming in desert at high noon.
A springtime desert bursting with a rainbow of wildflowers at high noon. Flowers consist of California poppies (Eschscholzia californica), fiddlenecks (Amsinckia menziesii), yellow gilia (Linanthus filiformis), Davy gilia (Gilia latiflora), desert dandelion (Malacothrix glabrata), white tidy tips (Layia glandulosa), pale yellow tidy tips (Layia heterotricha), creamcups (Platystemon californicus), Adonis lupine (Lupinus excubitus), lacy phacelia (Phacelia tanacetifolia), hillside daisy (Monolopia lanceolata), globe gilia (Gilia capitata), goldenbush (Ericameria linearifolia) and goldfields (Lasthenia californica). Poppies are visible climbing the sides of the mountains with some reaching the peaks. If you zoom in, you can find a pile of snow – Tejon Ranch 1991

scenery that stopped traffic

landscape photograph of dry, dormant hillsides landscape photograph of wildflower super bloom
The 5 Freeway in Gorman CA 2003, a lucky shot with the red trucks.

vortex of wildflowers

Photograph of wildflowers of yellow and orange flowing out of a vortex-like opening in the mountains.
A vortex of wildflowers in the mountains, Gorman CA 2001

peace and tranquility

Landscape photograph of blue, orange, yellow, and purple wildflowers blooming along peaceful aquifer full of green trees.
California wildflowers covering rolling hills with tranquil aquifer full of trees. Flowers consist of California poppies (Eschscholzia californica), coreopsis (Leptosyne bigelovii), Bentham lupines (Lupinus benthamii), globe gilia (Gilia capitata), lacy phacelia (Phacelia tanacetifolia) and fiddlenecks (Amsinckia menziesii), Gorman CA 2003.

For Native Americans, California’s plants have been a source of food, medicine, shelter, tools and fabric. Flowers are the symbols of life, birth and renewal.

blue-violet savannah of the Carrizo Plain

Panoramic photograph of blue-violet savannah wildflowers in Carrizo Plain National Monument 2005.
A savannah of blue-violet phacelia (Phacelia sp.) wildflowers carpets the valley floor in the Carrizo Plain National Monument in 2005. A collection of tumbleweeds in distant center, nearby a matted down patch of flowers marked the bed where antelope slept.

100-year bloom in Death Valley

Photograph 100-year bloom of desert gold wildflowers and mountains in Death Valley National Park 2005.
100-year bloom in Death Valley National Park March 4, 2005. After one of the wettest rain seasons on record desert gold sunflowers (Geraea canescens) were blooming as dense and extensive as ever recorded. Death Valley phacelia (Phacelialvallis-mortae) were blooming on the steep rock cliffs.

details of Death Valley

Photographic details of 100-year bloom in Death Valley.
Visible from 3 miles away and zoomed in 130%, you can make out light green bushes of desert hollies (Atriplex hymenelytra). Although it’s quite a stretch, if you zoom in you can make out fuzzy purple areas where Death Valley phacelia (Phacelialvallis-mortae) are blooming on specific rock layers conducive for growth. The Fuji GX617 camera captures extreme details.

three mountains in the garden

Panorama photo of three mountains in the garden of orange, blue and yellow wildflowers.
Three mountains in the garden of wildflowers, Gorman CA 2003. Eschscholzia californica, Leptosyne bigelovii, Lupinus excubitus, Amsinckia menziesii, Lupinus bicolor.

floating over wildflowers

Photograph overlooking orange, yellow, blue desert wildflowers on Tejon Ranch.
Desert wildflowers blooming at Tejon Ranch. California poppies (Eschscholzia californica), globe gilia (Gilia capitata), coreopsis (Leptosyne bigelovii) and goldenbush (Ericameria linearifolia) 1991.

seasonal creek with desert wildflowers

Photograph of rolling foothills covered in white, blue, orange and yellow desert wildflowers with seasonal creek.
Super bloom of wildfowers consisting of evening snow (Linanthus dichotomus), Adonis lupine (Lupinus excubitus), goldfields (Lasthenia californica), owls clover (Castilleja exserta), California poppies (Eschscholzia californica), goldenbush (Ericameria linearifolia) and a running spring full of wild watercress on Tejon Ranch 1991.

pyramid of wildflowers

wildflower landscape of dry, dormant hillsides landscape photograph of wildflower super bloom
California Wildflowers in Gorman CA 2003

a very unusual poppy

Orange and biege variegated California poppy.
Beautifully variegated wild California poppy that appears in same location over multiple seasons.

living and pulsing landscape

Landscape photograph of living pulsing land of yellow and blue wildflowers in Carrizo Plain.
A thick bloom of desert candles and other wildflowers flowing into a living, pulsing landscape running through the Carrizo Plains National Monument April 4, 2017.

When it comes to explaining art – fools give you reasons, wise men never try.

wildflowers of Tejon Ranch

Painted desert of orange, yellow desert wildflowers and Joshua trees on hills of Tejon Ranch 2019.
Desert wildflower super bloom on Tejon Ranch March 2019. Flowers consist of goldfields, California poppies and Joshua trees.
Orange, yellow, white, lavender colored desert wildflowers blooming in the desert of California 2019.
Super bloom of wildflowers on Tejon Ranch March 2019. Flowers consist of creamcups (Platystemon californicus), davy gilia (Gilia latiflora), fiddlenecks (Amsinckia intermedia), goldfields (Lasthenia californica), hillside daisy (Monolopia lanceolata) and California Poppies (Eschscholzia californica).

the pink badlands

Photograph of pink, yellow, and white desert wildflowers blooming in the Badlands of Anza Borrego Park.
Primrose and sand verbena wildflowers blooming in the Badlands of Anza Borrego State Park with Whale Peak (5349 ft) in the background. Whale Peak is a botanical island of unusual variety of flora, from cholla, chaparral, juniper, to pine, surrounded by expansive bajadas. Spring 2005.

primordial Carrizo Plain

Photograph of carpet bloom yellow, orange, and blue wildflowers in Carrizo Plain.
Carpet Bloom of Wildflowers in Carrizo Plain National Monument. It’s a vast, open primordial wilderness. The mountain relief on right-side reminds me of a specific animal raising up from beneath the surface. Wildflowers consist of goldfields (Lasthenia californica), lupines, California poppies (Eschscholzia californica) and fiddlenecks (Amsinckia menziesii). Spring 2005. If you wish to see the full animal relief in a stitch-mirrored image, click here and let your imagination run wild.

“I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.” – John Muir

bounty of wildflowers

Photograph of dense super bloom of blue, yellow, white, orange, lavender, and maroon California wildflowers in Gorman CA.
Rolling hills of California wildflowers. A super bloom of California poppies (Eschscholzia californica), Bentham lupines (Lupinus benthamii), coreopsis (Leptosyne bigelovii), Fremont pincushion (Chaenactis fremontii), Coulter’s jewel flower (Caulanthus coulteri), globe gilia (Gilia capitata), lacy phacelia (Phacelia tanacetifolia) and miniature lupine (Lupinus bicolor) in Gorman, CA 2003.

rock cathedral with soothing wildflowers and junipers

Photograph of setting sunlight on cathedral-shaped rocks surrounded by soothing magenta, white, lavender, and blue wildflowers.
Setting sunlight on a cathedral-shaped rocky outcrop surrounded by soothing colors of magenta owl’s clover (Castilleja exserta) and white popcorn (Plagiobothrys tenellus?), sky lupine (Lupinunanus), davy gilia (Gilia latiflora) and wild hyacinth (Dichelostemma capitatum) wildflowers with juniper bushes in the Sierra Nevada foothills near Kernville, CA. Super bloom of 2003.

hidden valley of wildflowers

Wildflower landscape photograph of hidden valley of orange, yellow, blue, lavender, white, and cream colored wildflowers in Gorman CA 2003.
The hidden valley of wildflowers in Gorman CA
California wildflowers, orange, yellow, blue, lavender landscape photograph of dry, dormant hills
The hidden valley of wildflowers in Gorman - Dormant vs Super Bloom

chaos and calm

Photo of chaotic storm clouds, mountains, and calming yellow and orange desert wildflowers of Antelope Valley, CA.
Super bloom of yellow and orange desert wildflowers with draw clouds in the Antelope Valley CA 2006

a flow of flowers

Photographic wildflower composite of orange, yellow, blue, lavender, white and cream flowers flowing thru canyon.
Wildflower composite of Callifornia poppies, goldfields, coreopsis, fiddlenecks, miniature lupines, white layia, phacelia, globe gilia and popcorn flowers.

triptych of desert wildflowers on hills of Quail Lake

Panoramic landscape photograph of orange, yellow, blue, lavender desert wildflowers.
Desert wildflowers of Quail Lake Hills in the Mojave Desert 2005. A carpet bloom of wildflowers consisting California poppies, birds eye gilia, desert dandelions, tidy tips, coreopsis, white layia and more. Future site of Centennial City.
Panoramic landscape photograph of orange, yellow, blue, lavender desert wildflowers.
Desert wildflowers of Quail Lake Hills near Tejon Ranch. Flowers consist of desert dandelions, California poppies, gilia, goldfields, lupines and owl’s clover. Future site of Centennial City.
Panoramic landscape photograph of orange, yellow, blue, lavender desert wildflowers.
Swath of gilia wildflowers mixed in with California poppies, yellow linanthus, desert dandelions, fiddlenecks and goldfields. Future site of Centennial City.

sunrise in the desert

Wildflower landscape photograph of desert sunrise with pink and white wildflowers in Anza Borrego.
Sunrise, sand verbena and primrose wildflowers with lifting morning fog in Anza Borrego State Park.

hillcrest of wildflowers

Photograph of purple, white, blue, yellow, lavender, and orange desert wildflowers covering hills in Gorman.
Adonis Lupine bush with hillcrest of wildflowers. Flowers consist of California poppies, Bentham lupine, coreopsis, goldfields, globe gilia, lacy phacelia, miniature lupine, Fremont pincushion and white layia. Gorman CA 2003.

home of the condor

Landscape photograph of rocky outcrop surrounded by magenta, pink-silver wildflowers.
Rocky outcrop shaped like a cathedral surrounded by magenta owl’s clover and silver-pink davy gilia wildflowers in the Sierra Nevada foothills 2003. Moments before this photograph was taken a condor was observed soaring high above.

when reality surpasses imagination

landscape photograph of dry hills landscape photograph of wildflower super bloom
California Wildflowers in Gorman CA 2003

“Wildflowers aren’t meant to be cut or tamed, They’re meant to be loved and admired.” – Anthony T. Hincks

magenta pastures

Panoramic landscape photograph of orange flower covered hills, with magenta pasture.
A carpet of magenta owl’s clover with California poppies and grazing cows.

sleepy ones awakening

Photograph of white, orange, and magenta wildflowers on the Tejon Ranch.
Super bloom of awakening evening snow (linanthus dichotomus), owls clover and hills of California poppy wildflowers Tejon Ranch 2001.

Gorman 2022

Hillsides of orange, lavender, yellow, white, blue wildflowers in Gorman 2022.
Gorman wildflowers of April 2022. The air smelled of grape soda from all the Adonis lupines. The flowers only bloomed due to a late March rainstorm that saved the day. Gorman is higher in elevation and doesn’t bloom as early as the lower locations, so late March and April rains are required for Gorman to bloom decently. Another rain or two would have made this a super bloom, as you can observe the flowers in background just getting started.

hills of gold

Panoramic landscape photograph of desert bajadas carpeted in bright gold yellow, and orange wildflowers.
Carpet bloom of desert wildflowers at Fairmont Butte near California Poppy Reserve. Wildflowers consist of California poppies, goldfields, desert dandelions, coreopsis and miniature lupines.

lava domes and desert gold sunflowers

Wildflower landscape photograph of golden sunflowers and lava domes in Death Valley
Death Valley with bloom of desert gold sunflowers among lava domes.

sky clouds and wildflowers

Wildflower landscape photograph of sky clouds and wildflowers.
The wildflowers of Gorman 2003

monet mountain

Photograph landscape resembling Monet  painting of wildflowers across steep hills of Gorman.
Monet wildflower landscape in Gorman CA. Super blooom of California poppies, coreopsis, and lupines white layia.

man in blue

A man surrounded by surrealistic landscape of blue, lavender, orange, and yellow wildflowers.
Man standing in rhapsody of blue wildflowers. When a cloud shadow moved across the hills, the light became cooler and blue, muting the colored carpet on the hills – Gorman, CA 2003.

This is a limited release of a larger portfolio of wildflower photographs created from 1986 thru 2022. Additional images will be published in the future.

California’s wildflowers are threatened from many fronts. To read more about these endangered landscapes please read threats to wildflowers.

I wish to dedicate this site to a wonderful, sweet and kind man named George Sanford. George was a supervisor for the Tejon Ranch who loved his wildflowers and loved sharing the beauty and wonder of them with the public. As long as you respected not walking or driving on the wildflowers, signed a release waiver and paid a fee, you were welcomed to drive and explore the Antelope Valley portion of the ranch from the 1986 thru 2001. If not for George, many of these ephemeral images would never have been captured for posterity and future generations to enjoy. Love and admiration go out to the “Mountain Man” for his generosity and his passion for nature. I will always remember a smiling George standing by his white truck with keys in hand to unlock the gate to the wildflowers.

a fuzzy wonder

Photograph of fuzzy stem and flowers of yellow-tipped cream cup wildflowers.
The fuzzy stem, bud and flowers of yellow-tipped cream cup wildflowers (Platystemon californicus) on Tejon Ranch April 2010.
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