Even though Southern California is essentially a desert, wildflowers typically bloom beautifully in the spring. For the last 3 or 4 years however, springtime blooms have mostly eluded us. The yearly poppy (and other flower) viewing visits have been planned but not carried out because the spring bloom has been fleeting, at best. Due to all the rain we (finally) had this winter, this year's spring bloom has been newsworthy.
My mom came into town for a few days at the start of my spring break, and we took a drive to see what was blooming. We first headed to Lebec/Fort Tejon. The drive itself up the 5 freeway through the Grapevine and the Tejon Pass was worth the trip alone. It's been so long since we've seen anything green growing on our mountains, so the scenery was spectacular. The shades of green might even give Ireland a run for its money. Unfortunately, the elevation in Lebec is about 3,500 feet and as we got closer to the areas with blooms reported we were socked in with fog and mist. The flowers were all closed for business. After waiting about an hour to see if it would burn off, it didn't we headed back down the mountain and took a little detour into Gorman which was just beginning to flower.
After that. we continued to head south until we hit the 138/Lancaster Freeway and cut across to the Antelope Valley which is where the Poppy Reserve is, our next stop. Both my mom and I like to take pictures so the quick drive was slower because we kept pulling off to the side of the road for photo ops.
Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve is a state protected reserve which highlights our state flower. Although we were again a tad early to see them in all their glory, what we did see was beautiful.