Desert Rain: Wildflower Wednesday Watch

A weekly Facebook feature hopes to "get you jazzed" about the coming spring.

FALL AND FALLING WATER: The epic rainstorm over the middle part of October brought big challenges to Death Valley National Park. Roads were suddenly awash with mud overnight, and historic Scotty's Castle bore the brunt of some significant damage due to flash flooding, enough damage that the landmark has been shuttered for the foreseeable future. While clean-up moves ahead on those built-by-people parts of the park hit hardest by the massive drop of water, others are simultaneously looking to the springtime and a positive prism to the huge storm. Beneath the ground, and under all that dirt, leafy green things are starting to sprout and push up. We know, we know, it's December, but when several inches fall quite suddenly, in the middle of fall, slumbering seeds have a rather amazing way of stirring to life. The park's social media pages began anticipating a huge springtime flower showing soon after the October event, but that excitement is growing as more growing is going on around the vast, lunar-like landscape. How much growing? Well, Wildflower Wednesday returns as a floral feature on the Death Valley National Park Facebook page, so your Hump Day just got a dose of early springtime.

GET STOKED: The park describes the potential coming of a springtime wildflower show as "INCREDIBLE," all caps, and a few visuals spotlighting current blooms supports this early fervor. The Pagoda Buckwheat "has LOTS of flowers," says the park, "but they are teeny tiny. Get your magnifying glass out!" Other petal-laden beauties will receive the centerstage in the coming weeks, and count on more all-caps-y, exclamation point-filled posts to stir up the spring-lovin' sightseers. As always, anticipating a huge bloom and getting a room in or near the national park at the last minute are miles apart in planning. If you're thinking you'd like to see any possible flowers in person, best start nosing around Furnace Creek or, further afield, Lone Pine or the towns to the south.

NOT RELATED... to the flowers but to the storm is this striking image of water in the Scotty's Castle swimming pool, a very unusual site. May this building be open again soon, to visitors, and may the flowery drive to it deliver when February or March rolls around.

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