Flowers on the Carrizo Plain

As I mentioned in my last post, it rained a lot this year in California. There was chatter about the “superbloom” and not surprisingly a lot of flower tourism. Ferda, my Dad, and I took advantage and visited the Carrizo Plain National Monument for the first time.

Along the way we made a few stops including visiting friends in pretty Santa Cruz.

IMG_20230409_143915 by bryandkeith on flickr
IMG_20230409_184941 by bryandkeith on flickr

After so many snorkeling adventures in Raja Ampat Ferda and I were excited to spend a day at the Monterrey Bay Aquarium. Just like at the aquarium in Singapore we saw some new species and were reminded (obviously, I suppose) that it’s not the same as the real thing. For me the most interesting species was probably the California sheephead which reminded me of the bumphead parrotfish that we saw at Dayan.

California sheephead by bryandkeith on flickr

Directly on our route south was the Misión San Miguel Arcángel in the tiny village of San Miguel. During Ferda’s first visit to North America we went on a bit of a mission kick so it was fun for us to see another one.

IMG_20230410_142537 by bryandkeith on flickr
IMG_20230410_150415 by bryandkeith on flickr
IMG_20230410_151728 by bryandkeith on flickr

Now for the flowers. The Carrizo Plain did not disappoint.

IMG_20230411_140450 by bryandkeith on flickr
IMG_20230411_152145 by bryandkeith on flickr
IMG_20230411_152131 by bryandkeith on flickr

We also got to see a little rock art SW of the Goodwin Education Center.

IMG_20230411_102223 by bryandkeith on flickr
IMG_20230411_103327 by bryandkeith on flickr

The biggest surprise of this short tour was how great the next day was, our last day before returning to Orange County. We spent about five hours at the Camatta Ranch where the flowers were really over the top.

IMG_20230412_115016 by bryandkeith on flickr
IMG_20230412_094757 by bryandkeith on flickr
IMG_20230412_123022 by bryandkeith on flickr
IMG_20230411_154708 by bryandkeith on flickr
IMG_20230412_120806 by bryandkeith on flickr
IMG_20230412_111457 by bryandkeith on flickr
IMG_20230412_111224 by bryandkeith on flickr
IMG_20230412_105728_1 by bryandkeith on flickr
IMG_20230412_102453 by bryandkeith on flickr

Wow, I’m pretty we’re not supposed to expect that every year!

IMG_20230412_120154 by bryandkeith on flickr
IMG_20230412_164551 by bryandkeith on flickr

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4 Responses to Flowers on the Carrizo Plain

  1. Jeffrey Anderson says:

    SPECTACULAR! I have never seen the Carrizo so beautiful! Great photos Bryan!!

    Don’t count on that every year. I spent a fair amount of time on the Plain while in Bakersfield, mostly geology field trips.

    Pam and my happy place in CA is Pacific Grove. It’s a short bike ride on the bike/walking path to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. We typically visit the Aquarium, if it’s not packed.

    Best to you and Ferda!

    • Bryan Keith says:

      Hi Jeff,

      Of course you know this area well. I’ve heard of Pacific Grove, but I’ve never been there. There sure is a lot to visit in California. Unfortunately it was Easter weekend when we visited the aquarium. It was very crowded, but we still managed to enjoy it.

  2. Mike Painter says:

    I still need to make it to Carrizo during a superbloom …

    San Miguel is one of my favorite mission (besides the just name, lol). I always try to stop there when passing by.

    • Bryan Keith says:


      Hahaha, I hadn’t thought of that. Yes, it’s a cute little mission that seems to have avoided touristy gentrification.

      We wanted to make it to the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve on the way back to Orange County but ran out of time.

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