Sunday, April 27, 2014

Photo Essay: The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch

You know immediately when you've arrived to The Flower Fields.



The rainbow of Ranunculus cascades across the hillside of the Carlsbad Ranch in organized chaos...



...seemingly monochromatic stripes of single breeds reveal a more varied color palette...



...showing nature at work in this very manmade, planned array of flowers.



You have to look for the outliers at first...



...but once you find them...



...you cannot unsee them.



Sometimes you wonder where some one flower came from...



...a totally different color than anything else nearby...



...and even, sometimes, a totally different species.



Then again, there are 600 existing species of Ranunculus.



Garden workers pace the lines between the annuals...



...picking bunches and bushels...



...though whether they're picking the odd-men-out to promote a more monochromatic experience, or the peaking blossoms to get them into homes as soon as possible, I do not know.



The Flower Fields are only open for a few weeks every year through Mother's Day...



...during which time they welcome thousands of visitors...



...who seem to mostly pose for pictures in the fields...



...or ride the wagons around the perimeter.



I painstakingly walked up and down each row...



...taking each photo opp...



...hitting each color and variety...



...making sure I didn't miss a thing.



I headed all the way to the top of the rainbow...



...where the blossoms have gone from white to red...



...where I could be alone in the wind...



...and try to catch the flowers in a rare moment of stillness...



...when their stems weren't bending in the breeze.



I made it all the way out to the outskirts of the fields...



...amazed at how each flower was so unique...



...despite the hillside appearing so uniform.



You have to stay in the rows, and not cross the green tape which protects the flowers...



...though it's tempting to jump right in there and lie down.



As preserved as they are...



...nature takes its course...



...and, even weeks before Mother's Day...



...the die-off has begun.

Related Post:
Photo Essay: Poppies Peaking in Antelope Valley