Finding Life in Death Valley

Nature provided the right mix of light, wind and moisture to coax flowers from the hot, dry Death Valley sand.

If you’ve read “A Bright Idea,” which I posted last fall, you know I like sunflowers. They brighten my day. It’s that simple. This morning I bumped into a story on titled “Death Valley comes alive with ‘superbloom’ of wildflowers.” When you have a minute, go there and view the slideshow — it’s spectacular, in a homely way.

What do I mean by that? This: If you saw these flowers nearly anywhere but Death Valley, you’d not take a second glance.

“Flowers,” you’d think. “Harrumph. No big deal.”

CNN notes that Death Valley National Park (appropriately located in Furnace Creek, California) is “one of the hottest places on Earth.” A flower pot, it’s not. But sometimes, when the variables of wind, moisture and light line up just right, something magical happens as Nature reveals God’s handiwork of subtle shapes and lovely colors on an unlikely canvas of hot, deep, coarse sand.


I point this out because I suspect there are people reading this who need a splash of hope — a plop-flop of a raindrop to quench their parched lips, with a distant promise of “more on the way.”

That’s why you should click on the CNN link today.

It’s been more than a decade since Death Valley’s colorful carpet of yellows, pinks, whites and greens pushed through the hot sand to briefly kiss the dry desert sky. It might not happen again in your lifetime — or mine.

Don’t miss it.

Jim Lamb is a retired journalist and author of “Orange Socks & Other Colorful Tales,” the story of how he survived Vietnam and kept his sense of humor. Sometimes he stops to smell the flowers. For more about Jim and his writing, visit

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