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California Blooming: NOW OPEN

California Blooming: Wildflowers and Climate Change,” a large print version of "Beauty and Beast: California's Wildflowers and Climate Change" just opened at the San Diego Natural History Museum (the Nat) on Friday April 6, 2021. Prints up to 12’ tall will take you into some of southern California’s past superblooms.

Wildflowers are the crown jewels of California’s beautiful natural landscapes. Yet climate change and other human impacts on the environment are threatening wildflowers and the life that depends on them.

In this special and timely exhibition, conservation photographers Nita Winter and Rob Badger offer a spectacular view of California’s extraordinary wildflowers as both a cause for celebration and protection.

California Blooming features more than 35 stunning photographs of wildflowers from diverse habitats throughout the state of California. You’ll see sweeping landscapes carpeted with California poppies and goldfields, stunning close-ups of ghost flowers and desert lilies, and behind-the-scenes photos of the photographers’ process.

While the photographs celebrate the beauty of wildflowers, they also help tell the story of climate change impacts to the flora and fauna in our region. The visual richness connects visitors to the biodiversity of our state and the actions that must be taken to protect it.

The exhibition was curated by the Museum’s exhibits team in collaboration with the photographers, who are also authors Beauty and the Beast: California Wildflowers and Climate Change. The book, which was published in partnership with the California Native Plant Society, pairs the couple’s striking field photography with thought-provoking and inspiring essays by authors like Robin Wall Kimmerer, Jose Gonzalez, Peter Raven, Mary Ellen Hannibal, Ileene Anderson, and more. Beauty and the Beast: California Wildflowers and Climate Change is available for purchase online.

Did you know?

California’s nickname, the Golden State, is traditionally attributed to the gold rush. But some claim it has just as much to do with the California poppy, the yellow-orange bloom that carpets the state each spring and serves as our state flower.

Meet the photographers

Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Nita Winter and Rob Badger have been capturing the transcendent beauty of the natural world in images for over 30 years. Their work has been featured in numerous galleries and publications including the British Museum of Natural History, American Photo, New York Times, Sunset and Washington Post, among others.


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