Superbloom Fever

The Rock Safe Team | August 24, 2023 @ 12:00 AM

California’s Central Coast is awash with superbloom fever! Our recent months-long rains didn’t just save our state from extreme drought…they filled our depleted lakes and rivers, quenched our thirsty land, and restored our verdant mountains. Driving north up the 101 freeway in San Luis Obispo County, it’s easy to think we’re in heaven. To the left lies our stunning coastline sculpted with jagged cliffs, caves, and rock formations jetting out of deep blue ocean waters; to the right are newly lush green hills magnificently sunlit or shaded depending on any clouds floating above. Dotting the grass along the highway are wildflowers here and there--so beautiful--but this is just a teaser, an appetizer of sorts.

The pièce de résistance eagerly awaits unveiling. Not even Monet, himself, could capture the artistry of such an exquisitely vibrant landscape thickly blanketed in yellows, golds, oranges, reds, blues, and purples. Among the flowers you may see are poppies, lupines, common goldfields, California desert dandelions, baby blue eyes, tidy tips, fiddlenecks, blue dicks, purple owl’s clover, Great Valley phacelia, and variable linanthus. Whether you’re with the family or on a date, grab your camera and perhaps a picnic, and prepare to be overwhelmed by nature’s beauty.

A superbloom is a phenomenon brought about when heavy rainfalls occur after drought, germinating a high proportion of dormant wildflower seeds and causing them to bloom simultaneously. The elapsed time between San Luis Obispo County’s 2019 superbloom and today’s spectacular event reminds us just how fortunate we are to receive such a gift.

Flowers as far as one can see can be viewed in the fields and hills along Highway 58, east of Santa Margarita on Shell Beach Road, extending out to La Panza Road and Bitterwater Road, including the Temblor Range foothills and the nearby Carrizo Plain. The superbloom can also be enjoyed within Montaña de Oro State Park, also off Highway 58 near Los Osos and California Valley. To preserve this beauty, park rangers request that people view respectfully and responsibly and take great care to walk among the flowers without harming them. Nature has bestowed upon us this priceless tapestry woven across the land. Clearly, good things are worth the wait.