Landscape Photography
of James L. Snyder

Painted Hills
Click Image to Close
Painted Hills
Linhof Master Technika 2000 camera, 240mm Fujinon A f/9 lens, Kodak Professional Portra 160 film, 2 exposures, 196 megapixels
All Images ©Copyright 2010 James L. Snyder. All Rights Reserved

Painted Hills

Elkhorn Road, Carrizo Plain National Monument, San Luis Obispo & Kern Counties, CA, 4/12/2017

I photographed these wildflower-covered foothills and mountains in California’s Carrizo Plain National Monument in late afternoon sunlight. These painted hills are just south of McKittrick Summit in the Temblor mountain range, and the peaks rise about 1,400 feet above the trailhead at Elkhorn Road on the valley floor. Each patch of color results from green grass or the predominance of a single variety of flower. The lilac flowers are purple tansy, blue tansy, or lacy phacelia (Phacelia tanacetifolia). The red-orange flowers are San Joaquin blazingstar (Mentzelia pectinata). The yellow flowers are hillside daisy (Monolopia lanceolata). Following the previous winter's heavy rains during an extended drought, California was enjoying a rare super bloom! A few hundred years ago, California’s Central Valley was a vast grassland where antelope and elk grazed, and wildflowers graced the spring landscape. Today, Carrizo Plain survives as a remnant amid the state’s urban and agriculture development.

Painted Hills

Select Print Size:
Select Paper Finish: