Thursday, April 6, 2017

"Super" Bloom

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.
 It was quite pretty, but I'm sure by now the entire hillsides have exploded.  We were just a tad early.
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.
The 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.
 On a side note, with the publicizing that has been done on the news and social media about the "Super Bloom", people are coming in droves to see them.  That is a good thing, but it has led to some poor behavior.  This was a section adjacent to the reserve.  I'm not sure if it's part of their property or not, but it's made very clear all over the grounds to stay on the trail, the poppies are protected, no dogs, and rattlesnakes live in the poppies.  In this section however, people were sitting in them, walking on them, one car even drove through the area.  There were two dogs playing in them.  Being such a rule follower, I had to walk away because the whole scene irritated the heck out of me.
There have been news reports of this poor behavior - destroyed flowers, rattlesnake bites, and altercations with rangers.  Gah!!!!  I had planned on going back up the Tejon Pass this past week, but then heard that due to this, the Fort has closed off viewing times and visitors can only come in by appointment only.


  1. Living in Iowa where we generally have blooms every year, I tend to take it for granted until I happen to be in other areas with blooms foreign to me. I am reminded of my time in the Grand Canyon which occurred during April and all the cacti were blooming. I came home with hundreds of pictures of cactus blossoms!

    I cringe at sights pictured above of people blatantly disregarding signs and advice. That is why I suppose I'm a big fan of Darwin's "survival of the fittest" theory.

    1. It's fun to see the blooms when they don't come often!
      The problem with the survival of the fittest - these people might be fit or smart, it's the lack of consideration that's the problem. They KNOW the rules, they just don't care. Which is worse than being stupid.

  2. Even if some of your photos weren't taken at "peak" viewing, they're still quite beautiful!! Even though planned gardens can be stunning, there's nothing quite like nature in its own glory!

    I'm glad your mom got to come for a visit. I'm assuming she back at 100% following her surgery?

    Don't even get me started on people like that. It infuriates me!

    1. Thank you. I enjoyed taking them. I don't get out often enough to remember all the ins and outs of my camera, but got better as the day went on. :)
      Yes, my mom is doing well, thank you for asking. She was actually just at my place for a few days in between a cruise and a week at my aunt's in Laughlin. She doesn't let a lot hold her back. :) THe only thing is that the new knee/leg is so straight and in such good shape, it's quite obvious that the other knee/leg NEED to be done. It's so bowed that she struggles some with keeping her balance, which is a new problem. I hope she will do it sooner than later, just so she's good to go!
      Infuriating is an understatement!

  3. Love the graphic at the end. :-)

  4. Wow, that's pretty darn magnificent. The blooming of the desert.

    1. Yep!
      All the blooms are messing with my allergies big time though.