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article imagePerfect conditions allow Death Valley to erupt in vivid color

By Karen Graham     Feb 14, 2016 in Environment
Death Valley - Perfect conditions have led to a burst of colorful wildflowers in Death Valley National Park in Central California this month. The usually barren landscape has been transformed into a palette of vivid colors.
California's Death Valley National Park endured torrential rains in October of last year, a gift from El Nino, making it the wettest month on record.
Desert Five-spot (Eremalche rotundifolia)
Desert Five-spot (Eremalche rotundifolia)
Dianne Milliard/Death Valley NP
Death Valley is very much like the Atacama desert in Chile, spotlighted in November last year in Digital Journal. Both places are known for their dry, hot conditions. The Atacama is known as the driest non-polar place in the world, and Death Valley is the lowest, driest, and hottest area in North America.
And like the Atacama desert last year, ABC News says El Nino's rains in October have transformed Death Valley's barren landscape into a rare kaleidoscope of yellows, pinks and purples, interspersed with delicate white blooms.
“If you get the chance to see a bloom in Death Valley  especially a super bloom  you should take t...
“If you get the chance to see a bloom in Death Valley, especially a super bloom, you should take the opportunity to see it because it could be a once in a lifetime opportunity.” – Park Ranger Alan Van Valkenburg.
Death Valley NP
It's very rare to have a good bloom in Death Valley," Park Ranger Alan Van Valkenburg says. "We hope [it] will become a ‘super bloom,’ which is beyond all your expectations. Those are quite rare, maybe once a decade or so." And Van Valkenburg should know. He has made Death Valley his home for the last 25 years.
The last time Death Valley experienced a "super bloom" was in 2005, reports the Washington Post, and while flowers do bloom occasionally within the park during many months of the year, conditions were so that it all came together in a "perfect storm" of conditions to create the massive bloom this month.
A carpet of sunshine blankets the valley floor.
A carpet of sunshine blankets the valley floor.
Death Valley NP
The park service says on its Facebook page that the blooms are still localized, but they are beginning to spread out of the southeastern edge of the park. “There are so many seeds out there just waiting to sprout, just waiting to grow,” Van Valkenburg said. There are already reports of some of the plant sizes being "mind-boggling."
According to the latest wildflower update, the “Jack-in-the-Beanstalk stems of Desert Gold (Geraea canescens)” and “Notchleaf Phacelia are standing nearly three feet high.”
Enjoy the video.
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