Right now, a once-in-a-decade phenomenon is happening at Death Valley National Park. Millions of wildflower seeds that were dormant have bloomed after three very rare October rainstorms triggered their growth. This is pretty amazing considering that Death Valley is America's driest and hottest place. Park officials claim that the last time the park experienced a "super bloom" was back in 2005.
The majority of wildflowers are "desert gold", and look a bit like daisies, their stems can reach waist-high, and are a glowing and glittering gold color:
"Some of the other more common flowers include the deep purple phacelia; the desert five-spot, a delicate pink flower with five burgundy spots around its center; the gravel ghost, a delicate white flower that appears to be floating aboveground like a ghost because its stem is so thin it's almost invisible; and various types of desert primrose." - Yahoo News
So, why is this important? Well, Death Valley is hot. Like really, really, really hot. In fact, it's a world-record holder in the hottest temperature ever recorded. Since it's also over 280 feet below sea level, it's also the lowest elevation in North America, so when this super hot and dry basin gets rain, and I mean, a lot of rain, some pretty spectacular things can happen.
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Think about it, just three inches of rainfall this past October has created a Wizard of Oz-type feel in this American desert. What makes that pretty nuts is the fact that the park averages just 2 inches of rainfall...a year. So, to get three inches in one month made all those millions of little wildflower seedlings decide to give the world a show.
Some tips if you plan on visiting to see the wildflower super bloom:
1.) Be prepared for crowds, though it isn't high season for visitors, the wildflower blooms has brought people in from all over.
2.) The south end of the park is where you can see the most flowers, and it's also where the flowers will fade first once the weather gets hotter.
3.) Get there soon! The as the temperature rises as we head into spring the flowers will fade.