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The Colorado Plateau is mostly desert, with a few scattered areas of forests. The cracks in the parched earth are clearly visible, but for a few short weeks, every few years, this barren desert is transformed into a magical carpet of purple and yellow.

The scorpion weed and bee plant flowers shown in these images doesn't always appear every year. But given the right combination of winter precipitation and April sunshine and they bloom for just a few days before disappearing again for periods lasting several years. Most flowers on the Colorado Plateau depend on winter precipitation for soil moisture. During winter months precipitation generally exceeds potential evaporation, therefore moisture remains in the soil for use by plants. If snow or rainfall does not fall in winter, the seeds will not germinate in spring and the flowers won’t bloom.

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