How Super is the Bloom?


Last updated 2/12/2019 at 2:45pm

PHOTOS Courtesy of Sicco Rood

If past is prologue, March should be a great month to appreciate desert blooms throughout Borrego Valley and the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Also great are concerns over traffic congestion when word again goes out, this time perhaps including nearby inhabitants of the Milky Way Galaxy, that Borrego is the place to be to see the flowers. The good news is that our local community leaders are already starting to put together a plan to help make whatever flower bloom experience there is a pleasant one for residents and tourists. Last time, we ran out of bare essentials. Hopefully, not again.

It all comes down to rainfall accumulation this season (Sept. thru Feb.), when it arrives, and temperatures after each rainfall.

Heavy rains also bring localized flooding to the Borrego community, and on Jan. 13, we had a taste of what may be to come: An afternoon rain started around 3 p.m., very heavy for a few minutes, but not showing up in terms of DiGiorgio/Palm Canyon drainage ditch water flow to the south for a good 45 minutes. Unsaturated soils in the ditch soaked up much of the incoming water flow. 24 hours later, however, after only light rains started around 10 a.m. Monday, the drainage ditch soils became quickly saturated, and the southerly ditch-flow turned south, spilling over DiGiorgio Road and east into the Sink.

Frequent rains in Jan. and Feb., even though light, would keep soils saturated, resulting in more surface flow and localized flooding during periods of heavy rain. For some areas, continuous heavy rains resulting in severe flooding could wash away seeds in floodwater channels or those that have sprouted but are not yet deeply embedded.

Looking ahead flower-wise, with blooms already evident in several isolated Valley locations, more rain coming in February (and barring wild temperature fluctuations) will serve only to enhance the sprouting of seeds throughout the Valley and canyon areas.

The question is whether or not we are prepared, logistically, for a Super- or perhaps even a Super-Duper-Bloom! Community leaders are working on logistical issues to ensure we are not caught short this time. For instance, we should be okay if tourists (and lurking ET's) are told to bring their own essentials. Without such early preparation to make sure everything runs smoothly, it could be Flower-geddon all over again.

Full story in the Jan. 24 issue of the Borrego Sun.

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