Monday, February 28, 2011

Mumday from best poppy bloom EVER: 2009


The craziest poppy year EVER, according to numerous local people, including a smarty pants Fire Ecologist who's lived in El Portal for 30 years. This was all along the Merced River canyon, just west of Yosemite NP, and one year after a huge fire in the area. My favorite theory was that allll the ash that showered the hillsides for days and days was a natural fertilizer and the poppies went NUTS.

And this isn't my favorite shot from that day.

The cones and rods in my eyes were pretty much burned out after 2 hours.

An incredible experience.


And taken March 20th, so spring is on its way!



  1. Fires also burn off the smothering thatch of European annual grasses, open up the seed bank in the soil to more moisture and sun, and physically and chemically scarify hard seed coats to stimulate them to germinate after years of dormancy. I had a similar experience on Russian Ridge in San Mateo County in rainy spring 2010 after summer 2009 prescribed burn. The yellow hillsides were hard to look at after awhile. At the time, I didn't know enough about photography to get a good photo in that riot of color from the spring elegant madia (cool name, eh?). I hope someone did get photos as evidence of the rejuvenating power of burns.

  2. That is amazing! I didn't know that one could specialize in fire ecology, although I guess I should have known. Very interesting!

  3. @Cindy, absolutely! I like that, "smothering thatch." Nicely put! Very cool re: Russian Ridge. And yes, spring elegant madia is an amazing name. =)

  4. Wow! Just stunning. From one field of fire to another.

  5. Such an impressive bloom! Let me know if you come across any fields of Malacothrix like this!

  6. @ Snail: Nicely put! =) @ Chris: so now I have to ask, why? =) I assume it relates to a moth??


Cool people write inside rectangles....