Wildflowers pop up across Golden Empire


Wildflowers are beginning to pop up across the Golden Empire, thanks in large part to significant rainfall. But whether we’ll see a full bloom rests not on the rain, but the sun, according to experts.

“The spring, it’s definitely starting to come to life out here,” said Matt Thorp, a ranger at the Wind Wolves preserve southwest of Bakersfield.

From purple to yellow, to white, flowers of all kinds are popping up at the preserve. But Thorp is uncertain whether a full bloom will take place. That he says, will depend on weather yet to come.

“The flowers are really just beginning to take off. They haven’t fully taken off over the landscape to where it’s an ocean of color, but hopefully that will be occurring in the coming weeks,” Thorp said.

As for whether Kern County could expect to see a full bloom, Thorp said the answer relies on the weather yet to come. 

“We haven’t had a balance of sunny days that the flowers require in order to take off in their bloom.”

Almonds also are in bloom season. Tom Frantz, owner of a 40-acre almond farm in Shafter, said the bloom will end in the next few days. At that point, he’ll have a better idea how this year’s crop will turn out.

“For the almond growers, we’re in the season of wait and see,” Frantz said. “Nobody’s scared right now that there’s not gonna be a crop at all. But we had a little bit of frost early, lots of rain, cool weather, so the bees did not fly as well as they could have. I don’t expect a good crop this year, it may be a good crop, it may not, that’s what farming’s all about.”


Ranger Thorp says he wants visitors to have a great time at the preserve, but said it’s important to stay on trail, adding picking flowers is not allowed. If you want to check out the flowers but don’t have a way to get there, a representative with Wind Wolves says not to worry; the preserve will host its 6th annual spring nature festival on Saturday, March 16. Free rides will be offered from various locations throughout the day from the following locations:

Arvin High School
900 Varsity Rd. Arvin, CA 93203

Golden Valley High School
801 Hosking Ave. Bakersfield, CA 93307

Delano Area Rapid Transit (DART) Station:
1120 Glenwood St. Delano, CA 93215

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