The Coast News Group
Paintbrush. Photos by Todd Nordness
Columns Hit the Road

Hit the Road: Rainy days bring beautiful blooms

Rain. I miss it.

Despite the two days of downpour earlier this month, for which we are grateful, we are still far short of the precipitation we need. As I hiked through Carlsbad’s Lake Calavera Preserve

Mariposa lily

recently, it was distressing to see how dry and dusty the preserve’s hundreds of acres are. Calavera Lake is low, the bushes are brittle and the landscape is brown, brown, brown.

Cholla cactus bloom

I remembered that last year’s record rainfall brought forth thousands of beautiful flowers of every size, shape and color. Ranger Todd Nordness didn’t squander that opportunity to capture some these stunning blossoms with his camera.

“The 2 to 3 inches of rain we had recently definitely helped,” he said. “It was really significant because the water didn’t just run off. It saturated the ground, so we should see some flowers at Calavera this year.”

As an employee with the Center for Natural Lands Management, Nordness patrols 15 area preserves; he spends half of his time in Lake Calavera Preserve.

Just how many flowers appear this year remains to be seen. In the meantime, we can enjoy Nordness’ images of last year’s bloom. It was tough choosing which to feature here, so with his permission, I’ve posted additional photos at

If you have noteworthy photos or stories of your travels, contact me at [email protected]