In ordinary years when winter and early spring rains are scanty, the annual flowering plants are few; inasmuch as they are in no particular way adapted to endure shortage of water, they wilt and die a few weeks after they have sprung, as if by magic, from the barren earth. As though trying to make up for this poor showing, every few years comes an abundance of rain and there results such a wealth of blossoms that almost every foot of sand or gravelly soil is hidden beneath a blanket of flowers.

The Mojave Desert is an arid rain-shadow desert and the driest desert in North America. It is in the North American Southwest, primarily within southeastern California and southern Nevada, and it occupies 47,877 sq mi. Small areas also extend into Utah and Arizona.