Environment & Science

#ISeeChange: Some poppies got fried, but plenty of flowers remain

The record heat did not destroy this portion of the poppy fields.
The record heat did not destroy this portion of the poppy fields.
https://instagram.com/esotouric/
The record heat did not destroy this portion of the poppy fields.
Some poppies remain, reports Kim Cooper of Esotouric bus adventures.
https://instagram.com/esotouric/
The record heat did not destroy this portion of the poppy fields.
Poppy pollinator taken at the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve on a recent hike March 17.
https://instagram.com/esotouric/
The record heat did not destroy this portion of the poppy fields.
Taken in the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve March 16.
https://instagram.com/esotouric/
The record heat did not destroy this portion of the poppy fields.
Taken at the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve March 16.
https://instagram.com/esotouric/
The record heat did not destroy this portion of the poppy fields.
Poppy fields are full of side blotched lizards, writes Esotouric.
https://instagram.com/esotouric/
The record heat did not destroy this portion of the poppy fields.
Richard Schave of the Esotouric bus adventures walking the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve.
https://instagram.com/esotouric/


On Monday, we reported that the weekend's unseasonable record heat had prematurely "cooked" the color right out of the annual bloom of California poppies in the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve.

The reserve in Lancaster is normally covered in orange blossoms right about now. But after the heatwave, the sun-facing southern slopes are filled with "desiccated orange petals ... left shriveled on the stalk," the reserve posted.

We shared the news on social media. Instantly, people responded with photos of living, breathing poppies! 

The group, Esotouric bus adventures, went on a hike to check it out Monday. It wrote on Facebook: 

Yes, the vast carpets of orange did get fried, but there are still plenty of flowers to enjoy, especially on the cooler, north-facing hillsides. Plus songbirds, lizards, pollinating beetles and the whisper of wind in the grass. And the bad news about the poppy crop means the trails aren't too crowded. 

Esotouric posted pics from its adventure on Instagram, too. (You can view more of its photos in the slideshow above.)

Instagram: Mysterious road of poppies

Our Facebook friend Scott McDonald said he recently took a trip there. Here's his photo from Sunday:

For a wedding photo shoot on Saturday, Christina Baker found these poppies a couple miles down the road from the reserve. 

The Frame producer Michelle Lanz also took a recent trip. She also found these outside the reserve: 

Jean Rhyne, with the reserve, confirmed to KPCC that there are still flowers to enjoy, including goldfields, forget-me-nots, gold cups and lupine.

"It's been beautiful out here… I still recommend people come out," she said.

Lovely! Now it's your turn:

Have you been to the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve this spring? What'd you see? Snap a photo and share with us on social media as a part of our new photo project #ISeeChange. You can also submit your photos and questions via our website here.