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Thursday, March 06, 2008

California Poppies are coming!

Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve 2003Every year, around this time, I start to check out the status reports from the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve. When we have a good rainy season, as we have had this year, things can really be amazing with hillsides covered in poppies and a host of other native wildflowers.

Noting that March had arrived, I just checked the park's web site and found the following report...

Wildflower status: 03-05-08

It looks like it might be a great year! We've now received over 9 inches of rain, compared to only 1 inch at this time last year. Watch our rain gauge and compare to past years' data at http://cdec.water.ca.gov/cgi-progs/queryFx?s=POP. There are several tiny poppy plants germinating, and our first poppy flower has been spotted! A few other species such as loco weed and lupine are beginning to bloom, as is the Joshua Tree by the visitor center, with white, artichoke-shaped flower buds on several branches. Looking across the fields, there's a green tinge to the tan hills of last year's grasses.

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! The natural spring on the North Poppy Trail is running again with rabbit brush coming back around it, which makes it a good place to sit quiety and watch for wildlife.

Cool! I think we will definitely be planning a trip out this year, from the sound of it. Interested? Drop me a comment below or send an email to agn@welchwrite.com to get a notice of when we plan on going.

Link: Info and pictures from our 2003 trip


Anonymous mss @ Zanthan Gardens said...

Down in Austin, my California poppies started blooming this week. How lovely it would be to see the verges covered with them like bluebonnets in the Texas Hill Country.

6:23 AM  
Blogger No Rain said...

My poppies are now in bloom--late compared to the mountains surrounding us--and also later than several other nearby gardens. I can't figure out why some bloom early and some later. It must be the very slight difference in rainfall and elevation from one area to the next.

11:25 PM  

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