Like many other photographers I long for spring, especially wildflower season. Until I got serious about photography I never paid much attention to the changing seasons, or lack thereof in California.  Yes, we have a great mild climate but we don’t have grand changes in season like those in the north or east. You see, California(especially southern) is arid, and in many places a desert. In fact, most of our water is brought in from the wetter north or east from the Colorado river. However, with a wet winter the normally brown landscape is transformed. Parched plains and hills come alive, if only for a short time, with lush green grasses and colorful wildflowers. This is a magical time in California and as a photographer I strive to capture some of the ephemeral beauty that is spring.


The Carrizo Plain National Monument lies about 100 miles north of Los Angeles in southern San Luis Obispo county. It is a fairly remote and wild place and is also the largest single native grassland left

Carrizo Wildflowers

in California. It’s national monument status protects it from further development and provides public access to the land for recreational activities. The Temblor Range lies on the west side of the plain and rise up to around 4300′ at it’s highest. This was the area of my last photography adventure.  From a distance you could see the hills covered in yellow. I’m talking huge expanses, entire hills carpeted  in yellow. The closer I got the more colors became visible; purples, oranges, whites you name it. I haven’t been doing the spring fling with wildflowers for long but I have seen some 

In Bloom

incredible displays in prior years. However, I would have to say this ranks up near the top, not only in terms of diversity but sheer vastness. There were literally miles and miles of flowers. 

Sometimes a photograph doesn’t do justice to the awe nautre inspires. I love to shot the icon locations(Yosemite, Grand Canyon, etc) as much as anybody else, but I relish being out in nature, away from the crowds.  I was free to explore and experience a truly splendid spring day with nobody else around. In fact, I didn’t see another soul for most of the day. These kinds of experiences recharge my soul. I hope that you can find something that does the same for you.


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