What better way to commemorate the start of Daylight Savings Time (a.k.a. "Spring Forward") than searching for wildflowers?
We knew that there was already a "superbloom" happening in the desert lands to the east and to the south (more on that later), but we were a lot closer to the arid expanse of the Mojave to the north.
So, we started by driving up San Francisquito Canyon Road to the area of Elizabeth Lake and Lake Hughes—but this year, unlike back in 2014, there were no poppies and no lupine to be seen for miles.
As we headed closer to Lancaster, we could see some orange pops of color on the distant mountaintops...
....and the occasional outcropping along the side of the road.
If nothing else, Southern California is greener now that I've ever seen it.
And this is really just the beginning of wildflower season...
...the buds in the Antelope Valley taking a little bit longer to open than those in hotter climes farther inland.
But still, what had appeared by last weekend was enough to draw people out of their cars...
...and collect on the side of the road...
...in a place they might not ever find themselves otherwise...
...chatting with people they might not otherwise ever meet.
As we continued our journey north, we found ourselves turning off any random side road just to see if we could find something...
...which we did at the southern end of Mojave, CA near the site of Holliday Rock.
It looked promising, but we were just too early. You have to time these things just right.
Fortunately, there's one thing that the California desert can reliably deliver any time of year: ramshackle homesteads off the side of the road.
They may be predictable, but they never cease to delight.
Photo Essay: Poppies Peaking in Antelope Valley
Photo Essay: An Explosion of Wildflowers in the Antelope Valley