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When the Desert Blooms

A hill at the California Poppy Preserve in Los Angeles’s Antelope Valley in Spring 2003.
The California Poppy Preserve in the Antelope Valley Spring 2003

In a post I wrote a few days ago, I remember saying that tulips and California poppies are my favorite flowers. This rainy season has been unusually good, with the result that the wildflower bloom this month is utterly spectacular.

That was also the case in March 2003, when Martine and I visited the California Poppy Preserve with its gentle hillsides blooming with millions of orange flowers.

On Monday, my friend Bill Korn and I hope to visit the Carrizo Plain National Monument in rural Santa Barbara County, where there is another spectacular set of blooms. We had hoped to do it in previous years, but so long as I was racing to prepare tax returns in time for the April 15 deadline, that was a virtual impossibility. For the last twenty-odd years of my accounting career, I typically worked seven days a week in March and the beginning of April.

Close-Up of California Poppies 2010

Never having been to the Carrizo Plain, all I know about it is that it is in a remote area and does not even have paved roads throughout. Several of the roads in the park are currently closed due to mud. Its best known physical feature is that the San Andreas earthquake fault runs right through the middle of it.