Temblor Range Wildflower Hillside

Temblor Range Wildflower Hillside

full print size of 29.6x37.6 inches @304.8ppi, above displayed at 1/178
Copyright © David Senesac 2005   view detailed crop

geranium Kern County
Sunday afternoon April 17, 2005, slide 05-I-19
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 top mid left          

The previous weekend, a friend and I had been to the location of this image and made a couple nice images. The result of some back roads explorations I'd done. This was my sixth and final road trip to Southern California during the fabulous wildflower spring of 2005. On Saturday we visited our primary objectives, which were past peak, thus exposed no film. So in the afternoon we drove back to this secret location and were surprised to see it actually looked better than the previous weekend with even more species blooming. Excited at the prospects, we primtitive camped there overnight in a sandy wash, then spent all Sunday working the area. Afternoon clouds limited our work a bit but also provided some nice skies to complement the dense wildflowers. All I will say about this pristine area is that water flows from here into southern San Joaquin Valley dry lakebeds. As a landscape photographer it is nice to know there are still a few incredible wildlfower locations in California in this day and age of mass communication which have not yet been brought to the attention of the public community of photographers. Here I could go late in the season and not see a single other photographer or find any areas of trampled vegetation.

Most of the species in this isolated environment, are more common to the Mojave Desert. Desert winds have carried seeds here creating a blazing island of spring color. Atop the hill are short bushy trees, California juniper, juniperus californica, full of bluish berries. Against the tree shadows are orange hued flowers of fiddleneck, amsinckia tessellata. Prominantly in the foreground are orange hued California poppies, eschsholtzia californica. At center frame are purple hued coiled cymes of tansy-leaf phacelia, phacelia tanacetifolia.

Surprisingly tall and an indication of the excellent rainful this area apparently received. At bottom center foreground are white hued ray petals with center yellow disk flowers of desert tidy tips, layia glandulosa. Covering the upper parts of the hillside a light creamy yellow and scattered throughout the foreground are cream cups, platystemon californicus. Note the hairy stems visible on the cream cups at right foreground. Both cream cups and poppies unfurl late in the morning and close up early in the afternoon which one can see a number have already done here. Note those in the foreground with many anthers sticking up from near horizontal petals which some of which have yellow tips . The large shrubby yellow sunflowers up the hill beside those cream cups are possibly encelia californica. Also scattered in the foreground jungle mostly below the tops of other flowers, are darker blue hued chia, salvai columbariae. Also scattered below are small 5 petal white flowers with yellow centers, probably one of the cryptantha species.

With all these wildflowers, there were of course a great many bees and other polinators buzzing about. One bee can be seen just atop the desert tidy tip's yellow center in the lower left corner. There were also fair numbers of rodent mounds below the flowery slopes. And thus we were not surprised to be startled a couple of times by sudden rattling sounds of their predators, the rattlesnakes. And of course birds of all types were constantly flitting and chattering about making for a truly cheery time.

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   David Senesac
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