“EARTH LAUGHS IN FLOWERS.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
Two of my favorite wildflowers are Lupine and California Poppies. They are both so bold and bright that when they make an appearance, you have to notice them. A great place to watch for their first appearance each spring is driving I-5 over the Grapevine. When patches of orange paint the hills, it is time to start exploring the area with more diligence.
A great spot to find a closer view of wildflowers is on the Gorman Post Road, near the top of the Grapevine. This year was no different, but the poppies were not as evident as usual. The lupines, however, were flanking the road along with some other colorful blooms.
Fortunately, the California Poppies were taking over the fields en route to the Antelope Valley Poppy Preserve State Park. According to the staff, the east side of the park was where poppies were most likely to be found on its actual grounds. When a friend and I were there on a weekend in early April—as predicted by the staff—it was almost impossible to get into the parking lot and past the entry kiosk. We chose not to wait at least an hour to be able to look for a parking space, especially since we had already been sitting for close to an hour on the adjacent roads. I’m really not crazy about crowds.
These Distant Hills Are Officially Part of the Preserve
The poppies, however, do not simply grow in the Poppy Preserve. Their audacious color erupts along the roads and throughout the fields in the whole area surrounding the park. And the poppies are joined by some other blooms as well.
Several Stands of These Pink Trees Were Blooming Along Lancaster Road
If you have not wandered by Gorman and then on Lancaster Road toward the Poppy Preserve, the time to get out there is now. You will be rewarded with seeing some of the boldest and brightest wildflowers around!
“For myself I hold no preference among flowers, so long as they are wild, free and spontaneous.” Edward Abbey
“I must have flowers, always and always.” Claude Monet
“How does the Meadow-flower its bloom unfold? Because the lovely little flower is free down to its root, and, in that freedom, bold.” William Wordsworth
“Spring is God’s way of saying, ‘One more time!’” Robert Orben
“It is Spring again. The earth is like a child that knows a poem by heart.” Rainer Maria