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The Pinacate Biosphere Reserve and Grand Desert of Altar is covered in sprouting flowers, brought on by the winter rains.
With just days to go before the beginning of Spring, carpets of flowers have brought color and life to the desert, following ample rains that spurred the germination process.
Yellow, purple, white, pink, and orange flowers have burst across the desert landscape, which can be easily appreciated from the highway as well as atop sand dunes and rugged parts of the Reserve.
“This degree of flowering is uncommon for the region,” explained Mike Grageda, Administrative Resource Coordinator of the National Commission on Natural Protected Areas (CONANP) at the Pinacate Reserve. “This is only seen following the rainy season, and plants that do grow die as the colder temperatures set in.”
Among the flowers currently adorning the desert are: prairie sunflower, popcorn, dainties, wonder of the desert, deer’s herb, and zacate galleta (Hilaria rigida), among others. Pollinating insects and birds can also often be spotted in the area, marking the beginning of Spring.
“Rains this year reached a record that had not been seen for 50 years in our data base, which ensures an incredible spring with multicolored carpets on the sand dunes,” described Grageda, “Toward the end of March and April, the landscapes across the Pinacate and Grand Desert of Altar will be spectacular!”