They call me mellow yellow. I lucked out, my back straightened up quicker than I expected so we took a day trip to the Carrizo Plain, enjoying a multitude of yellow wildflowers, brilliant sunny weather, and a peaceful feeling from the landscape.
The Carrizo Plain is about 50 miles long and 15 miles wide and is surrounded by mountains on all sides. It has the distinction of being the largest native grassland left in California. It is located West of Bakersfield, is at the 2200 foot elevation, and is traversed by the San Andreas Fault, fissures of which can be plainly seen on the eastern side of the valley.
Unfortunately Painted Rock was closed so we did not get to see this unique artifact created by the Chumash Native Americans around 2000 BCE.
An amazing site is the 3000 acre Soda Lake. The Carrizo Plain has alkaline soil and an average 8 inch annual rainfall which all drains towards the center causing much of the lake to be covered in a thick salt crust.
The flowers are goldfield and tidy tips, native California wildflowers, which were in full bloom covering vast portions of the valley and the surrounding hillsides.