Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Desierto Florido

Every 4-5 years, when there is more than 7mm precipitation, the arid Atacama Desert bursts into bloom. Dormant seeds beneath the sands explode into life and colour in a phenomenon called the Desierto Florido (Flowering Desert). It is impossible to predict the year of the Desierto Florido (it last happened in 2008) and it only occurs between September and November, so it was a special treat for us to see it this year. The first photo shows the contrast between a typical year and a flowering year. Both photos were taken in the same spot in the same week of September.

Below are a selection of our photos taken from the Parque Nacional Llanos de Challe and the mountain road between Huasco and Punta de Choros. Enjoy!

1 comment:

Kate said...

Your timing was evidently excellent. The flowers are lovely - it must have been a real treat to see them. I'm always amazed by how long the seeds survive dormant - not to mention animals like frogs and toads. And all it takes is a little water to transform the desert into a floral paradise.