Comet 252P LINEAR, and Wildflowers and Trail Running at Carrizo Plain

Apr 1/2, 2016

I've been looking for a good astro reason to head back down to Carrizo Plain ever since my sublime solo trips there last October. This was the moment - at the end of Spring Break, during wildflower season in this El Nino year, and with the closes comet to pass by the Earth in over 250 years just coming into the Nothern hemisphere skies. I contacted the usual suspects, but everyone was busy. Tried especially hard on Dave Wyman, whose wildflower photography is the stuff of legend... but in the end he bailed. However, Kirk was game, and we made plans to meet. He would be leaving from a computer programming job in Greenfield, and I from home. The dirt road up to Caliente Ridge was busier than I'd ever seen it, and every little informal spot you could get off the road and set up a tent was taken, except for one very nice little view spot near the end. I grabbed it, and while setting up my tent, Kirk's red van arrived.