In the Antelope Valley Reservation in Southern California, spring is in full swing. This year, the floral carpet covering it is exceptionally diverse in terms of species. The phenomenon, as every year, attracts thousands of tourists.
An unusually wet winter left the arid hillsides of southern California covered with carpets of orange and yellow flowers, mostly California poppy (Eschscholzia californica). This phenomenon is easiest to observe in the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve, which specializes in the protection of this species.
Precipitation and flowers
Kevin Overduin, a representative of the California State Parks Board, told Reuters that this year the reserve has seen an unusually large number of species.
“What we’re experiencing this year is the result of unusually heavy rainfall,” he explained. – This resulted in a greater variety of flowers. Although the meadow looks peaceful, there is a constant struggle between species to survive in this environment.
As Overduin explained, the right environmental conditions are necessary for the flower carpet to appear. This is affected by factors such as soil type, sun exposure, and adequate rainfall, which only occur at certain points in the state. For this reason, flower meadows are also very sensitive to climate change and the impact of invasive species.
Beauty under protection
California poppy is a symbol of the state of California, which is why it is under special protection. As experts explain, careless walking in fields of flowers can have disastrous consequences for this ecosystem – for example, tourists can trample plants before they produce seeds. Heavy traffic can also compact the soil, making it difficult for flowers to grow.
The restrictions do not discourage thousands of tourists who flock to Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve to see the fleeting phenomenon and capture it in pictures.
– It’s a really great experience, something beautiful. I think everyone should visit this place at least once in their lifetime,” one tourist told Reuters.
Main photo source: Reuters