A Massive Bloom
Starting in mid march, millions of poppy flowers seemingly explode overnight in Southern California’s Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and around Lake Elsinore between Los Angeles and San Diego in what’s known as the “super bloom.” The flowers are so bright, it’s possible to see them from space! This image was taken by a NASA aircraft.
What Caused It?
According to National Geographic, the rare natural occurance that brought flowers to the desert was the result of an unusually rainy winter this year in California.
Visible for Miles
The abundance of orange wildflowers can even be seen covering the canyon from 30,000 feet in the air. According to Nat Geo, the desert was able to “lock more moisture into the ground,” causing the flowers to bloom.
A Nightmare for the Town
A few days after the super bloom gained traction on social media, the city of Lake Elsinore published a PSA on Facebook, stating that they were experiencing “Disneyland size crowds” and did not have the resources to maintain the hoards of Instagrammers and visitors who wanted to see the bloom.
Preserving Natural Beauty
According to Today, some areas of Lake Elsinore even shut down to tourists because of “unbearable” traffic and crowds that caused the community “miserable” and “unneccesary hardships.”
An Uncommon Phenomenon
This year’s super bloom is incredibly rare, according to Los Angeles Magazine, because it occurred so soon after the last one. The publication reports that there was a super bloom in 2017, but before that, the last one had been in 2008.
Other Colorful Blooms
Uproxx reports that Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California also has a spectacular bloom, as their flowers include purple lupine, yellow dandelions and orange poppies.
However, multiple outlets expect the bloom to be ending soon, if it hasn’t already, as many of the flowers are beginning to die as the temperatures reach the 80s.
On average, super blooms are expected to occur once every decade.