Wildflowers Starting to Look Good at Wind Wolves Preserve

Monolopia in bloom earlier this week. | Photo: Courtesy Michael Clendenen/Wind Wolves Preserve

The news for grandiose blooms of wildflowers this spring has not been looking great so far. The poppy fields in Antelope Valley remain brown. It's sluggish at Carrizo Plain. And so on and on. But at Wind Wolves Preserve in Kern County, a different story is developing.

Fiddleneck, Wild Hyacinth (blue dicks), Monolopia, Red Maids, Blue-eyed Gilia, purple Phacelia, and Bloodroots, along with some Grape soda lupine and poppies, are starting to bloom nicely, The Wildlands Conservancy, the private nonprofit that owns Wind Wolves, announced today.

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This photo of Grape soda lupine in San Emigdio Canyon was not taken this year but Sherryl Clendenen says it is representative to what blooms currently look like. | Photo: Courtesy Michael Clendenen/Wind Wolves Preserve

Education Director Sherryl Clendenen admits she's seen better years, but compared to the lack of what's going on elsewhere, Wind Wolves is looking like a good bet for wildflower viewing, photography, and hikes. But manage your expectations: Although blooms are not peaking yet (we'll update this space if it does), she also notes, "It's not like miles and miles [of wildflower fields], like you can sometimes get in Carrizo."

That said, flowers or not, the preserve's main attraction, the wide San Emigdio Canyon, is worth visiting any time of the year. I've hiked after a snow fall, camped in late spring, and meandered during a winter dry spell, leaving each time completely satisfied and wanting more. Add to that the likelihood of seeing wildlife: I've personally seen kit fox, bobcat, coyote, and deer; bear, mountain lion, and tule elk also make the 95,000-acre preserve home. Clendenen says right now is a great time to easily see bobcat and coyote because it's breeding season. (Let's just say they're a bit preoccupied right now).

Current blooms of wildflowers can be found on the short Wildflower Loop Trail and within the first few miles of the trails in San Emigdio Canyon. As always, wildflowers can be fickle due to weather and cloud cover so make sure to check with the visitor center ahead of time. It's open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and can be reached at 661-858-1115.

Taken March 5, 2013. | Photo: Courtesy Wind Wolves Preserve

Taken March 5, 2013. | Photo: Courtesy Wind Wolves Preserve

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About the Author

Zach Behrens is KCET's Director of News, Region and State, working on digital and on-air news products that relate to Southern California and beyond.
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