January 27, 2016: I am so thankful to the ranger at the Furnace Creek Visitor Center who told me I should drive out Badwater Road to Ashford Mill Ruins to see the wildflowers. Apparently an El Nino year with more rainfall than usual caused the flowers to pop up earlier in the year. They were saying that the flowers were already starting to look stressed and needing more rain by this time, but they sure were blooming happily that day!
I had always thought all desert environments were bleak and barren. So it was almost surreal for me to see Death Valley in bloom!
It’s no wonder these flowers are named Desert Gold!
The sheer magnitude of blankets of these covering the dusty ground was overwhelming. No way can a picture capture the glory of it all, but I took hundreds of pictures trying to anyway.
The brilliant yellow contrasting the colorful mountains in the background was truly an amazing sight to see.
I walked out among the blooms, being careful with my steps so as not to crush them.
Ashford Mill Ruins
Info sign: In 1914, gold ore from the Golden Treasure Mine, 5 miles to the east, was processed here for shipment to a smelter. Legend has it that the Ashford brothers sold the mine for $50,000 to a Hungarian Count, who later sold it to B.W. McCausland for $105,000.
The hills are alive….
…with the vibrant wildflowers!
New, joyful life blooming among decaying ruins with enduring mountains in the background – what a wonderful world we live in!
All Malia’s Miles Death Valley pages:
Wildflower Update – 2016 (NPS)
DesertUSA Wildflower Report – great pictures of other types of flowers.