Thousands Swarm to Catch Glimpse of California’s Rare Super Bloom

Flowers bloom at the Carrizo Plain National Monument in California in 2017. (Bob Wick/Bureau of Land Management)
Thousands of visitors are making their way to the hills of Lake Elsinore to catch a glimpse of the rare California super bloom, as the Southern region sees its second bloom of wildflowers in two years. The past few weeks have seen Californian hills blanketed in a stunning display of eye-popping orange California poppies after an unusually rainy winter. Steady rain showers since December have transformed the once drought-stricken canyons into a burst of deep orange and purple wildflowers, attracting swarms of people, keen to photograph its beauty.“It’s better than going to Disneyland,” Riverside County Habitat Conservation Agency patrol officer Randy Solis said while enjoying the blooms at the Temescal Mountains. A super bloom is a phenomenon, which only occurs after a perfect mix of heavy rainfall and appropriate temperatures, and the burst of wildflowers usually only graces California once a decade. Hiker Anjelica Sloan from Seattle was at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park with her partner Megan, who hadn’t seen a super bloom since she was a young child.“The contrast between the mountains and the shadows and the flowers is just remarkable,” she said. Southern California’s last super bloom was in 2017 following years of drought, and naturally, the explosion of wildflowers has attracted nature lovers. But Solis is concerned the wildflowers are being damaged in exchange for the ‘perfect’ photograph. Many of the vivid orange flowers are being trampled on, plucked as souvenirs, and photographers are balancing their camera tripods on the flower beds.“This is the biggest outbreak since 2005,” said Art Shapiro, a University of California-Davis professor and expert on the migration of butterflies reported.