from The Washington Post

Death Valley is alive this year. A super bloom is the latest sign.

by Reis Thebault, Alice Li, Bridget Bennett

TECOPA, Calif. — Sometimes the desert holds its secrets close, whispering them only to those who carefully listen. But this year, the hottest and driest place in America might as well be shouting.

In California’s Death Valley region, the last few months have been remarkably loud. And the latest bellow is still ringing out, with the area’s native wildflowers bursting into bloom. The flowers have filled a place best known for its shades of browns and grays with brilliant blasts of yellow and purple and sprinkles of pink and cream.

This roaring display comes just weeks after the resurrection of a long-dead lake, which filled the park’s Badwater Basin and drew visitors from across the country for a once-in-a-lifetime chance to paddle across a body of water rarely revived since prehistoric days.

These fleeting phenomena can both be traced to the unusual and record-setting precipitation that has inundated the state since August, when Hurricane Hilary gave Death Valley its wettest day ever. Subsequent storms dumped even more rain on the desert, eventually dragging it out of a years-long megadrought.

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