Carrizo Plain Wild Flowers – Look. See. Imagine. Create.


Because of drought conditions in CA, we have not had a good wild flower season in 5 plus years.  With some good rain in December and January, we are getting some blooms here and there.  Mary and I have been chasing the flowers as best as we can (given our full time jobs) the last month or so.  We made the 3 hour drive up to the Carrizo Plain last weekend and found a few good patches.

The Carrizo Plain National Monument is 150 miles north of Los Angeles and 50 miles west of Bakersfield.  Ironically, one of the largest oil fields in CA is just over the hill from one of the largest grasslands in CA.  The plain is about 35 miles long and is anchored at the north end by Soda Lake.  This dry lake bed can be filled with water in a good rainy season, but was dry on our trip.

The best flower fields this year are near the visitor’s center.  The road is paved at each end of the valley for about 5 miles, while the middle is a smooth dirt road that is easily passable in a passenger car.  There are a couple of cross roads and one that goes over the Tremblor Range toward Taft, CA.  I do not recommend these roads without a high clearance four wheel drive vehicle.

Look – a couple hundred yards off the road, we saw this great patch of purple flowers.  There’s a photo in here somewhere.


See – tighter is a little better, but the sky is bald and uninteresting and we lost the nice bush in the foreground.


Imagine – This is a little better with the foreground bush and less sky.


Create #1 – Eliminating the sky and using the elements at hand…the water tank, the fence, the bush, and the flowers creates a pleasant and balanced photo.


Create #2 – getting tight and isolating the fence puts you on the field.


Next week, more photos from the Carrizo Plain.

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  1. Dalo 2013

    What a great view of not just the beauty of the meadow and wildflowers, but the blue sky & greens of a drought-ridden land back to being healthy again. Great photo series!

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