Recently shot near the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.
Cedar Breaks National Monument is a geologic marvel but in July, visitors come for the floral display. At over 10,000 feet in elevation, the seasons arrive later than sooner.
The Coneflower can take on many shapes and looks. It’s the ultimate shape shifter!
It’s spring and the flowers were blooming along California’s Pacific Ocean Coastline. Flowers include California Poppies, California Morning Glory, Daisies, flowering Ice Plant and Lupine.
I never heard of fiddlenecks until I tried to find out what kind of flower I was photographing because there were about a billion of them. In the foothills of the Tehachapi Mountains along Highway 58 are acres and acres of them blossoming.
Wildflowers were blooming along California’s Pacific Ocean Coastline. Some, I recognize, others I couldn’t identify even with my flower book.
Along Highway 46 in Central California are fields of mostly flowering yellow Mustard Grass. Winter rains have forced a beautiful blossom. More wildflower images along the Pacific Ocean and the orange hills near Tehachapi will follow soon.
As you all know, California is in a midst of an acute drought. This affects all Californians and its prized almond industry. Also coming into play is the honey bee which have been dwindling in numbers not only in California, but the whole country. Almond growers need the honey bees to pollinate their flowers.
According to Mother Jones magazine, it takes about a gallon of water to grow a single almond. Almonds also use 10% of California’s agricultural water supply. But farmers in California’s Central Valley, the world’s most productive agricultural region, are now paying as much as 10 times more for water than they did before the state’s record drought cut supply. Costs have soared to $1,100 per acre-foot from about $140 a year ago in the Fresno-based Westlands Water District, which represents 700 farms, said Gayle Holman, a spokeswoman.
Although bee colony populations are now starting to rise again, the devastating collapse in honey bee numbers starting 10 years ago have forced high prices in hive rentals. Beekeepers are charging almond pollination fees of as much as $200 to rent a single beehive this season. That’s as much as five times the rate charged in 2004.
So the higher water and bee hive costs are bringing into question the importance of almonds. Do we need them? The almond is America’s favorite nut!
The price of almonds rose from around $2.50 three years ago to over $4 per pound in 2014 according to Vernon Crowder of Fresno’s Rabobank. Farmers started planting new almond trees at an historic rate. Now that the price has dropped 20% since 2014 because of oversupply, the profit margins have dropped due to higher costs of water and bee hives. If the farmers’ profits have been reduced, should they be using much-needed water on almonds?
With that said, the almond growing season is off to a fantastic start as can be seen with the photos below. Almond growing must still be profitable. Hopefully the drought will cease and honey bees continue to make a comeback. Almonds are rich in energy and healthy mono-unsaturated fats. The nuts have good nutrient profile packed with anti-oxidants, dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals. I personally eat a lot of almonds.
Had to go to Death Valley National Park to check out the Super Bloom. I’ve been going to Death Valley for about 10 years and have never experienced this amount of flowers and people. I captured the floral display starting a few hours before sunset. The predominate flower south of Furnace Creek is the Desert Gold Sunflower or as I like to call it, Geraea Canescens. Stay tuned for more pics from Eureka Dunes, fighter jets and the Pacific Coast.
I spent a few days last week, beating the heat of Southern Utah’s desert, at the cool Kaibab National Forest next to Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona. The spring rains and current monsoonal thunderstorms produced a colorful wildflower scene. More pics of the Grand Canyon to follow soon!