We hiked the first half-mile of the Hite’s Cove trail, and found nice mixes of poppies and tri-colored gilia. We ran into several photographers we know—surprise, surprise—and I made some photographs, mostly close-ups of backlit poppies.
While I’m spoiled after last year’s spectacular bloom, this year is below average even by normal standards. I didn’t really believe the map that I linked to in my post from March 9th, which showed below-average precipitation in the Merced River Canyon, since all the surrounding areas are above average. But maybe it’s true.
Elsewhere things are heating up, with reports of flowers coming in from the hills around the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley and near the Carizzo Plain, although Anza-Borrego is apparently disappointing. See that post from March 9th for some links to these reports. Keep in mind that what looks like a great bloom to one person may appear ho-hum to another, and a great variety of flowers does not necessarily mean thick enough carpets for landscape photographs. Personally I’m most interested in dense blooms that have a mix of different colors—rare events, to be sure.