Desert Spring Show: Almost Flower Time

The moment has arrived to ponder your overnight arrangements.

IF YOU'VE EVER TENDED A GARDEN, or had a yard, or a little plot of soil and seeds on a windowsill, you know this: Flowers make surprise cameos. They don't send an announcement postcard well in advance, saying "save next weekend for my arrival," nor do they always have a predictable run up. One day there'll be a wee green shoot and the next? A taller flower, maybe even a bud, maybe even the first sign of petals. It's a life truism that applies to lots and lots of flowers, wildflowers, in particular, too. You can watch the skies, and the clouds, and the rainfall, all the while predicting when the first poppies or primroses will appear in the glens and valleys a few hours out of town. But, like the box on your windowsill, desert wildflowers also can be a little unpredictable, and they definitely don't mail postcards detailing specific dates and places. So taking a chance, and looking at the bloom times of past years, is recommended as you...

BOOK YOUR STAY... out in one of California's epic and arid stretches. It's worth considering an early booking, for it is an especially large bloom, hotels do fill up (one only need remember 2005's huge Death Valley wildflower show, and how difficult it was to find a room, to know this holds water). Furnace Creek Resort, both Inn and Ranch, serve as homebases for the Death Valley National Park flowers, where spots around Borrego Springs, like La Casa del Zorro Resort & Spa, are prime starting-out points for visitors to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Late January, though, has the scent of "go time" to it, as far as planning your desert blossom adventure slightly in advance. If you decide to wait, and see how the bloom does, well, hooray to that, too (that's another viable and popular avenue of flower fanship). Whether you get a hotel or not, here's to a big desert bloom, and all of the rain that continues to encourage such a stunner of a sight.

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