Argh. The entire state of California (yes, that’s hyperbole) at the moment seems to be either gripped by what journalists and the news media love to hype as a wildflower “super bloom” or is suffering in the throes of dealing with the frenzied madness surrounding it as fueled by the media.
I read one report from NPR of 50,000 people pouring through one small town with a population not much larger.
Other reports lament the herd of onlookers trampling sensitive lands and leaving behind scores of braided footpaths slicing apart fields of flowers, so much so that the use-trails are visible in satellite imagery.
News articles are being pumped out daily dressed up with sparkling, eye-catching lures like, “It’s the best it’s ever been.”
Really? Ever is a long time. I don’t think that applies. But sensationalism sells. Hence Hearst Castle.
Two years ago, 2017, the media was filled with commentary about a California “super bloom.” A report from US Today tells of “California’s second ‘super bloom’ in two years.” That headline is immediately followed by a photo caption asserting that it is “a rare super bloom.” Twice in two years is rare? I don’t think so, Cletus.
One wonders how super it really is when it also occurred just 730 days ago. Maybe it’s not so super after all even if is indeed a grand show.
I can’t deny that it is a grand show. And I certainly don’t fault people for wanting to see it. But I don’t know that it’s “super.” Maybe it’s just normal.
When we receive a normal measure of rainfall for the season after seven years of intense drought you know what we call it here?
100% of normal county-wide is the way it’s put by officials.
Despite every runnel, brook, creek and river flowing with gusto like we haven’t seen in years, and despite the novelty of so much water running everywhere after it being so dry for so long, we still just call it. . .normal.
Twenty years ago, on days I’d venture out to the Carrizo Plain to take a looksee at the wild flowers, I rarely if ever saw anybody.
Surely people came, but not like they do now in the age of social media saturation, which has combined with the usual age-old media hype and yellow journalism as a force multiplier when it comes to propelling thousands of people into places they would otherwise never have gone.
(I suppose I may share in owning some of the blame by giving yet more exposure to certain places through this here little weblog.)
In 2011, following a season of abundant rainfall well above average, I spent an entire day immersed in Carrizo Plain National Monument and saw nobody. You can see what it looked like that day at the following link: Temblor Range Wildflowers. It looked pretty super. I don’t recall wall to wall reports of a “super bloom” that year, but maybe I just wasn’t paying attention.
A rather large lily standing over a foot tall. Many years they only reach about half that size.
Anyhow, with so much attention focused on this season’s wildflower bloom I feel compelled to ignore it around here. I have posts up from previous blooms for those interested. I included below a link to one such post or search “wildflowers” in the sidebar.
I’ve been out to see some of the flowers this season, but my contrarian-against-the-grain-swimming-upstream nature precludes me from wanting to post anything about it.
When it’s on the national news I think it’s been pimped out enough as it is.
So I’d like to show a simple, sparse, far less spectacular bloom in chocolate lilies. So sparse that they aren’t even worth a landscape shot, as they’d be all but invisible.
Because just as I am a wanderer of lands of lesser interest, so too am I an aficionado of things of lesser interest in those lands. What most folks ignore I like to pay attention to.
These lilies grow by the hundreds in good years in certain places like the serpentine soils on Figueroa Mountain and in Oso Canyon draining into the Santa Ynez River.
But they do not grow so thick as to paint over large swaths of land attracting media hounds and hoards of eager viewers.
So there you go. That’s it. That’s all.