Eschscholzia californica

Macro Image of a California Poppy

Macro Image of a California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica)

We got an extra day off from work today, so Martine and I drove to Descanso Gardens in La Cañada-Flintridge, perched in the hills above Glendale. We have always associated the gardens with peace of mind, and today was no exception. Martine and I usually split off for a couple of hours and meet at the front gate just before closing time. While she wanders to her favorite sites, I look to get lost on the lesser known trails and perhaps do a bit of meditation.

The plethora of California poppies—the official state flower—kept distracting me. I took a number of close-ups, including the picture above, There is something so simple and yet so splendid about these blossoms that they kept interrupting my meditations. One never knows when one will run into a clump of these.

If it weren’t for tax season, I would have made a point of visiting the Antelope Valley California Poppy Preserve about fifteen miles west of Lancaster. Some 1,745 acres are full of California poppies and other native wildflowers, and there is a small visitor center maintained by the California Department of Parks and Recreation. (Of course, with the state’s current budgetary problems, I don’t even know if the park is still being funded.)