Spring time in Southern California brings the wildflowers and, if it’s been a decently wet year, tons of poppies for your viewing pleasure. The best place to see them is at the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve in (you guessed it) The Antelope Valley. The AVCPR updates its website every couple of days during bloom season so you know when peak viewing days are. The latest update was from 3-11:
It looks like it might be a great year! There are tiny poppy plants germinating everywhere, and a handful of flowers are now scattered around. Most seem to be along the sidewalk between the visitor center and picnic area, and around the parking lot…Otherwise, no fields of flowers yet, but we expect in the next week or two it potentially could go off the hook- stay tuned…The wildlife is returning- gliding hawks, singing meadow larks, and lizards zipping across the trail. Lizards coming out also means rattlesnakes are coming out, so stay on the trail!
I’ve been twice to see the fields of poppies in the last few years and it is spectacular. As they recommend on their site, bring sunscreen and prepare for it to be windy. As it is a bit of a drive (60 minutes depending on traffic) plan to spend a few hours: bring a picnic and your walking shoes for the easy trails through the fields. If you want to see more than just poppies, there are tons of other wildflowers also blooming around Los Angeles and points not far beyond. Click into the jump for more flower viewing resources.
The Theodore Payne Foundation is a “nonprofit organization dedicated to the understanding and preservation of California native flora.” They have a hotline you can call to find out where all the pretty flowers are blooming. Narrated by actor Joe Spano, the hotline is updated every Thursday from March through May and has info on over 90 wildflower sites. That number is 818-768-3533. Or you can click the “Wildflower Hotline” link on their site to read the weekly update.
Of course when I am out in the fields, I can’t help but think of the Wicked Witch saying “Poppies. Poppies. Poppies will put them to sleep.” (Can you hear her?)
(Image from Wikipedia and used under the GNU Free Documentation License.)