Death Valley is one of the harshest environments on the planet, but you wouldn’t know it if you happened to visit last month. As weeks of El Niño-fueled rains percolated into the soil, thousands of dormant seeds were awakened, and the barren landscape bloomed into an ocean of wildflowers.
A “super bloom” is a rare desert wildflower show that only occurs when conditions are perfect. For Death Valley, that means well-spaced rainfall throughout the winter and spring, plenty of warmth from the sun, and calm wind conditions. Death Valley tends to see a super bloom every ten to twenty years—the last one occurred in 2005—and it usually falls during El Niño.
For those of us who didn’t get to experience the magic of this particular super bloom firsthand, we can now relive it thanks to astrophotographer Harun Mehmedinovic.
We’ve featured the work of Mehmedinovic, and his shooting partner and Gavin Heffernan, several times before. The two are traveling around the country, scouring remote and lonely landscapes for something urbanites like myself experience have all but forgotten about: light pollution-free skies. This particular crop of photos, and an accompanying timelapse video, were shot in Death Valley National Park and Amargosa Valley in late March.
I’m not sure Desert Golds have ever looked this magical.
The work of Mehmedinovic and Heffernan is all being packaged together in a book called SKYGLOW, which is set to release next month.