Homer's Travels: The Poppies Pooped Out

Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Poppies Pooped Out

This weekend is the California Poppy Festival. I was planning to go but my enthusiasm is waning. First, the "J" couldn't go. Then the wife expressed her lack of interest. This was followed by rain ... Yes, rain - a rare event this time of year. The rain should be over before the festival starts but the last straw was when I went to the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve site. I quote: "Wildflower Update as of 4/16/07: Pretty Much Over." Yep, the poppies and other wildflowers are done for the season. It appears the drought (the reserve received only 15% of their normal rainfall this season) shortened the wildflower season. The Poppy Reserve site continues on to say:
"There are about a half-dozen 2-inch tall poppies in front of the visitor center, a small fiddleneck along the entrance walkway, and an occasional ground-level filaree. The beavertail in front of the visitor center is about to open at least 5 blooms, but that's otherwise about it for the whole park. Yes, the whole park. The blooms that we do have are not very impressive- the few wildflower sprouts that could pull it together enough to bloom aren't wasting any water or time on growth so they're stunted and going to seed as fast as possible, making a hasty exit." - California State Park Service
Oh, well. I am planning to replace the poppy festival with a hike. Maybe next year we'll get more rain and the poppy festival will be worth the drive to Lancaster.


  1. Figueroa Mountain, northeast of Ballard, may be your last best bet for wildflowers this year. I understand that most of the blooms peaked late last week, but there may still be some blooms left.


  2. Thanks for the suggestion. I think I'll try again next year if there's more rain.