Lupine Stream Plain Wildflower Wonderland
full print size of 29.6x37.6 inches @304.8ppi, above displayed at 1/178
Copyright © David Senesac 2005 view detailed crop
Santa Barbara County
mid morning Wednesday April 6, 2005, slide 05-H-12
Wisner 4x5 Expedition, 90mm Caltar, Gitzo G1325 Mk2
Tango Drum scanned Fuji Provia 100F 4x5 film to 300mb RGB file
Adobe Photoshop 6.0 processed for accurate image fidelity
Lightjet5000 printed on Fuji Crystal Archive paper
signature bottom left
The wet spring of 2005 in Southern California produced some of the most wonderful and extensive wildflowers blooms during my lifetime. The first blooms were during February in the Sonora Desert and moved north and higher into the Mojave Desert areas through the spring. In early April many higher mountain areas like this area in one of the interior valleys of Coastal Range also came into bloom. I had been exploring back roads in Santa Barbara County on the way to other work at Antelope Valley. This particular area along an obscure stream near a remote road had some of the finest mixed displays of colorful California wildflowers I've yet encountered. The small area was a rocky flood plain surrounded by oak dotted hillsides where cattle grazed with higher oak covered ridges in the background. The day I arrived, the air was nicely calm, temperatures pleasantly warm, and nice high cirrus clouds were moving above in the blue skies. And the area was so remote that maybe just four vehicles drove by over a period of several hours. Birds seemed to be chirping and singing everywhere. What a joy it was wandering about with my view camera.
None of the flowers dominated the area but there were certainly quite a number of large beautiful blue lupines, possibly lupinus douglasii, that spread across the center of this frame. The background hills were a brilliant yellow, absolutely densely covered by one of our sunflower species that I suspect are hillside daisies, monolopia lanceolata. Also at right in front of the lupine are a few blue dicks, dichelostemma pulchellum. Left of the nearest rock at center is a smaller lupine species, lupinus nanus. The dark bluish flowers center foreground are not lupines but rather one of our larkspurs, delphinium parryi. Prominently in the foreground are gorgeous deep magenta hued purple owls clover, orthocarpus purpurascens.
Nearby are also several less prominent white hued narrow leaf owls clover aka valley tassels, castilleja attenuata. One of the most stunning wildflowers in this area are the light purple hued thistle sage, salvia carduacea. Some here in the foreground coming out of their buds are still a quite hairy cottony white while those mid left are already growing tall above other flowers. A smaller yellow hued sunflower species visible densely throughout the jungle are the ubiquitous goldfields, lasthenia californica. Scattered about are another larger sunflower species, tidy tips, layia platyglossa, with white tips and yellow centers. Another similar shaped flower in this mix though without the white tips are desert dandelion, malacothrix glabrata. In the right foreground are a few small pink hued red-stemmed filaree, erodium cicutarium. All along the foreground are familiar 3 leaflet shapes of dark green leaves of a clover with a few small white purple flowers barely emerging. In the background on the green hills left are coast live oaks, quercus agrifolia, and further back the darker mountains are covered by a number of lower mountain tree species. And yes there is an animal in view. Well an insect animal that is. At lower right frame edge is drying brown red brome grass with a distinct red ladybug.
This was one of the first frames I exposed that morning as I looked for a scene with a little of all the landscape's components. I positioned my tripod low to maximize the feeling of being down in the wildflowers and to put some of the higher lupines against the yellow hillside background.