Friday, April 01, 2005

California Poppy Reserve

I've posted the pictures from my trip to the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve on my Flickr page in the CA Poppy Reserve set.

While the parking lot was packed, and there were dozens of people on the paths directly adjacent to the visitor center, once we started hiking onto the longer trails, the people disappeared:

Trail to a vista point

Hiking down that trail to the Antelope Butte Vista Point (the furthest point from the visitor center) got us a gorgeous view of this wildflower-covered hill:

Flower covered hill

We were able to soak in that view as we had a quick snack on the trail; nobody else came out to the vista point the entire time we were there. Our meal wasn't quite as romantic as it might seem, however, since the winds were very strong, and very constant, so were both cold and frantically trying to hold onto everything that might blow away (including my SO's hat).

The primary flowers we saw were goldfields, California poppies, and lupines, though there were a number of other flowers around, including a very neat white one:

Goldfields, poppies Cluster of poppies White flower

There were also a lot of beetles, caterpillars, and other terrestrial insects out and about, but relatively few flying ones due to the high winds; we didn't see a single bee, despite the abundant flowers. As we were walking along the nearly empty trails we spotted a dozen or so lizards, including one patient enough to let me get a good closeup:

Lizard at the poppy reserve

I have more pictures in the CA Poppy Reserve set on Flickr, if you're interested.

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