Every spring, locals and travelers flock to the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve to marvel at the blooming sea of wildflowers, most well-known for the bright orange poppy. Creating a stark contrast between its vibrant petals and the earthy tones of the surrounding land, the poppy blossoms are truly a sight to be admired. Since this year nature-lovers can’t physically visit the poppies, NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center — the park’s next-door neighbor — captured and shared satellite images of the spectacle.
On April 14, the Operational Land Imager on the Landsat 8 satellite was able to capture the delicate movement of the poppy petals in a series of stunning photos. The poppy actively responds to weather conditions such as sun, wind, and rain. With the rain in Southern California exceeding expectations by four inches this year between March and April, the 2020 bloom appears even more vibrant and is expected to last longer than usual.
Although the poppies have been drawing in visitors, the park is also abundant in purple bush lupines, forget-me-nots, cream cups, and yellowray goldfields.