Photo: Scott Sporleder

The California Poppies Are Blooming, Safe From the Trampling of Instagrammers

News National Parks
by Eben Diskin Apr 24, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic is canceling pretty much everything, but the one thing it can’t cancel is good ol’ nature.

In southern California, spring is defined by music festivals and wildflower blooms. The festivals might be postponed, but flowers are still very much in session. Although not a super bloom this year, in Walker Canyon (southeast of Los Angeles) and in Antelope Valley (north of LA), the hillsides are blanketed by a sea of bright orange poppies. And even though you can’t visit them this year, the California Department of Parks and Recreation has set up a live cam so you can have a peek at the vibrant blossoms.


Photo: trekandshoot/Shutterstock

If you’re viewing the cam and thinking something about the flower field looks different this year — you’re right. It’s completely devoid of Instagrammers. While a typical spring day might see thousands of visitors straying from the paths to take ill-considered Instagram photos among the poppies — and trampling them in the process — this year’s lockdown means the flowers are completely undisturbed by human activity.


Photo: saraporn/Shutterstock

That doesn’t mean people aren’t still hopping the fence to get their flower fix. California State Parks Interpreter Jean Rhyne told SFGate, “There are a lot of people not obeying the stay-at-home order, but visitation to the valley is only a fraction of what it would normally be at this time.”

While it’s certainly a bummer that you can’t enjoy the poppies in person this year, it’s somewhat reassuring to know that the fields are safer than ever from the negative effects of human interference.

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