California explodes into ‘super bloom’ following a wet winter. A ‘super bloom’ may be in the eye of the beholder, but the winter’s rain and snow promises a bumper crop of spring blooms in Southern California and Arizona.
California’s hillsides transformed into an explosion of colors, yellows, purples, and whites after months of being a bland, dry brown.
Vast swaths of countryside that were once a drab, dry brown have been transformed into a carpet of colour visible from space.
“It almost feels like a painting,” Triana Montserrat says as she examines the smothering California poppies, brittlebush, and lupins.
“It’s so intricate and beautiful.” “It’s as if my mind couldn’t have come up with that on its own,” adds the 29-year-old.
America’s most populous state spent months hiding from a series of storms that produced near-record rainfall.
Californians who are more accustomed to wearing shorts and sunglasses retreated indoors, where many discovered roof leaks that had gone unreported for several years.
Nature, however, presented its beautiful reward when the wet winter gave way to spring.
Behold the mega bloom, an ill-defined but you’ll-know-it-when-you-see-it treat that appears every now and then when the arid ground gets a good soaking.
The super bloom has long enchanted those fortunate enough to witness it. From the early Spanish missionaries to some of America’s literary geniuses.
Unfortunately, in the age of Instagram and TikTok, these delicate blooms can easily become victims of their own popularity, say nature lovers.
It’s all part of an effort to avert a repeat of the “poppy apocalypse” of 2019. When tens of thousands of daytrippers crowded the countryside, causing massive traffic bottlenecks that immobilised the region.
Influencers and selfie-obsessed tourists parked their cars along highways and marched right into the wildflowers. Smashing everything in their path in their quest for the perfect image.
“It was like a nightmare.” “They just trampled everything and smashed a lot of the flowers,” recalls Pete Liston, proprietor of Skull Canyon zip line.
While most people agree that the blooms must be protected. Not everyone agrees that trails should be blocked and replaced with webcams, as Lake Elsinore has done.
Each big bloom is a “moment enabling the public to connect with nature and to grow enthusiasm for California biodiversity.” According to Evan Meyer of the Theodore Payne Foundation, a non-profit that promotes Southern California’s natural flora.