The California Poppy, (Eschscholzia californica) is a marvelously showy wildflower that can carpet hillsides in Southern California. Both the chaparral and desert areas should offer an exceptional show of California Poppies this year with the good winter rainfall after so many years of drought. It’s always an extraordinary experience to see the California Poppies bloom in the desert.

I went off in search of the first blooms today and as I crested a hill, discovered the first stand of brilliant orange-yellow trumpets spattering the still moist terrain. It’s still early and there should be many more to follow. Check with the latest reports to see how intense the flowering is at the Poppy Reserve if you want to take a memorable hike through some of the more impressive fields of California wildflowers. Check out  the Antelope Valley Poppy reserve with its miles of hiking trails through the Antelope Buttes near Lancaster, California — just northeast of Los Angeles, east of the ‘Grapevine’ at interstate 5.

Since this visit a couple of years ago, the weather has been very stingy with rain. As a result the shows have not been impressive. Enjoy watching this video to re-live the vibrant color offered by the inland California chaparral after a generous winter rainy season.  Sooner or later there will be another wet winter in this part of the world. With all the wildflower seed laying dormant during drought times, the show should be spectacular. That’s when you really must check out the Antelope Valley Poppy reserve.