Check out the superblooms this spring | Notes on the Valley | Monith Ilavarasan | PleasantonWeekly.com |

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By Monith Ilavarasan

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About this blog: My parents, brother, and I moved to Pleasanton when I was in the seventh grade. I then graduated from Amador Valley High School, went to college at UC Davis and started out a career in tech. After several years working in large co...  (More)

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Check out the superblooms this spring

Uploaded: Apr 5, 2023
One of the key reasons I love living in the Bay Area is its lack of monsoons. Heavy rains and winds over the past few months have me second guessing this love. If my umbrella turns inside out one more time on my walk home I may just move to the Sahara where I don’t have to deal with this anymore.

One silver lining of the massive amount of rain over the past few months is the advent of super blooms around the Bay Area. The East Bay Times recently interviewed local bay area nature experts who had glowing things to say about the coming months.

Seth Adams, a conversation director for the nonprofit Save Mount Diablo expressed that he thought “this is going to be the best spring in terms of diversity and flowers in Northern California – and probably the entire state – in 20 years.”

Superblooms are a rare and stunning natural phenomenon that occur when wildflowers burst into bloom at scale, creating a sea of vibrant colors across the landscape.

They occur all across the world in various places. The Namib Desert in southern Africa is known for its annual carpet of wildflowers, including daisies, lilies, and succulents, which can cover hundreds of square kilometers during a superbloom.

The southwest corner of Western Australia experiences a variety of superblooms throughout the year, including pink and white everlastings, yellow wattles, and purple hoveas, which can stretch for miles across the landscape.

The Hitachi Seaside Park in Ibaraki, Japan is home to a variety of wildflowers including blue nemophila. These bloom in late April and early May, creating a stunning ocean of blue flowers. These instagram friendly vistas attract tourists from all around the world.

Competing with these global destinations, California is also well-known for its superblooms,.

Superblooms typically occur in California after a rainy winter, when the state's vast deserts and fields are suddenly transformed into a sea of color. In the spring of 2017, a particularly impressive superbloom occurred in the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, where vast swathes of yellow, purple, and pink wildflowers blanketed the landscape.

The 2017 superbloom was the result of a perfect storm of weather conditions. California had experienced a record-breaking rainfall in the winter of 2016-2017, which provided the necessary moisture for wildflower seeds to germinate. Additionally, the state experienced a period of warm, sunny weather in the spring which encouraged the flowers to bloom.

Superblooms are not a common occurrence, and they are difficult to predict. The timing and intensity of a superbloom depends on a range of factors, including rainfall, temperature, and soil conditions. Even when conditions are optimal, not all wildflowers will bloom at the same time, so the exact timing and location of a superbloom can be difficult to predict.

This spring you’ll find me out across the Bay Area in search of these magnificent landscapes. I’ll be headed out to the following places:

Mount Tamalpais State Park, Marin
Diablo Range, East and South Bays
Calero County Park, San Jose
Coyote Hills Regional Park, Fremont
Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties

I’ve deleted Instagram off of my phone in my bid to stay in the moment. I’ll have to find some other avenue to post the pictures of beautiful vistas I take so I can still find a way to make my friends jealous.
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