On Saturday, the kids and I went to see the Poppies (Big Ben couldn't go because he was knee high in poop, but that's a story for later). I have tried to see them the last two years, but each time have been too late to catch much of the bloom. So this year, the trip was happening early, no matter what.
There are pictures of me as a little girl visiting the California Poppies. The only memories I have of them are the ones etched in my mind by the photos. So, like a dutiful parent, I intend to do the same to my children.
A little background on the California Poppy Reserve, from their official website:
This State Reserve, nestled in the Antelope Buttes 15 miles west of Lancaster, California, is located on California's most consistent poppy-bearing land. Other wildflowers: owl's clover, lupine, goldfield, cream cups, and coreopsis, to name a few, share the desert grassland to produce a mosaic of color and fragrance each spring. As unpredictable as nature - the intensity and duration of the wildflower bloom varies yearly.
The Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve is located in the western Antelope Valley at an elevation ranging from 2600--3000 feet. It is the high desert. Until the early 1970's Sheep once grazed the buttes in the western Antelope Valley. Pronghorn grazed long before then, until the railroad of the 1880’s. Park management has excluded sheep from grazing the hillsides.
California State Parks does not water or use any other means to stimulate the flowers; the land is preserved to only be influenced by the natural forces that had once influenced all of our surroundings.
Doesn't that just sound thrilling and exciting? However, much to the concern of my children, I'm too cheap to pay the $5 parking fee to enter the reserve. Instead, the children and I, driving my little Corolla, off-roaded it. I'm not sure if we were supposed to go where we went, but we did. Besides the thrill of dodging the parking fee, the best part was that by doing this we were able to see the same poppies that are on the reserve, but we didn't have to see the crowds of people on the reserve.
Once again, Sarah was my star photo subject. Ben wasn't feeling well, and did not want to pose for pictures. I thought he was just being a pansy, but two hours later, he had a temperature of 103.5. Oh, why do my children do things like insist on having legitimate sicknesses while I am in the throws of picture selfishness? Is it so that later I must feel extreme amounts of guilt related anguish? Ok, I'm over it... now I might just have to go back, and put him through the torture again, so that I can get the happy pictures that I had my heart set on.
Anyway, the poppies, are the one and only thing I like about the Antelope Valley! They are beautiful and the opportunity for us to drive such a short distance off our mountain to see them, is truely an added bonus to living where we do.