Los Angeles, 10 April 2017
The dark clouds which dumped huge amounts of rain on southern California a few months ago have had a multicolored lining: the intense blooms of wildflowers which have burst out all over this desertic and semi-desertic landscape – water is life. A few posts ago, I wrote about the wildflower blooms in Joshua Tree National Park, considerably more intense this year than in previous years.
Last weekend, my wife and I joined our daughter and her boyfriend on a trek in the Malibu hills where they plunge into the Pacific Ocean.
The hillsides were a riot of yellow, with the flowers growing head high, crowding in over the track, brushing your face, leaving pollen streaks on your cheeks.
And there has been the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve …
My wife and I went up there some ten days ago. As we exited San Francisquito Canyon high up on the southern slope of Antelope Valley, we saw spread before us on the valley’s opposite slope several faint patches of orange shimmering in the heat: our goal.
On we drove, down to the valley’s floor and along the its northern slope. We turned a corner and the banks of the road suddenly flamed orange. We were starting to see the California Poppy close up.
After paying our park entry fee and parking the car, we started walking the trails. Our aim was to climb to the top of Kitanemuk hill, walk along the crest a while and then come down and loop around back to the car park. These photos document our walk. I don’t think they need commenting.
I love wildflowers. I love their brilliance, their panoply of shapes and colors. I enjoy their anarchy; not for me the regimented flower beds of suburban gardens. I mourn their evanescence. I see them for a short time in Spring, and spend the rest of the year impatiently waiting their return. I’m really glad that our daughter’s birthday – our excuse for coming to Los Angeles – serendipitously coincides with the annual wildflower explosion in this corner of the world. And I’m secretly thankful for all that rain earlier in the year. It brought much misery to many but a great joy to me and my wife.
Pictures: all ours