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California's Super Bloom So Intense It's Visible From Space

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Wildflowers north of Los Padres National Forest in early December 2016 (before the winter rains) and in late March during the wildflower super bloom. Photo credit: Planet Labs

Thanks to above-average rainfall after an epic drought, spectacular flowers are blossoming throughout California, and now you can track it from space.


A few weeks ago, a colorful "super bloom" of sunflowers, sand verbena, dune evening primrose and ocotillos drew crowds of botany enthusiasts to the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. These blooms were followed by similar phenomena in Carrizo Plain National Monument, Bitter Creek National Wildlife Refuge and an area close to Los Padres National Forest.

Check out the images below courtesy of Planet Labs, a company founded by former NASA scientists.

Last month, Planet Labs launched Planet Explorer Beta, where you can track satellite images for about 85 percent of Earth's changing terrain. If all of this looks to you like Google Earth on steroids, there's a good reason for that. The 2014 startup company in February acquired Google's satellite business, Terra Bella, responsible for Google Earth, and now boasts the world's largest fleet of Earth-imaging satellites.

To see how regions have changed as recorded by the satellite images, click on the white scroll bar in the middle, and slide the bar back and forth.

Near Los Padres National Forest


Carrizo Plain National Monument

Bitter Creek National Wildlife Refuge

The northern California coast is the latest area to bloom. A wildflower forecast for all areas of California through July can be found at Visit California.

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