So we hopped in the Subie and headed out for some springtime fun, or as I like to call it, "The Great Allergy Hunt of 2011", because lord knows as much as I love them, plants just don't love my sinuses. It was worth it though :) And I should point out, these photos are not color edited in any way, it was just a beautiful spring day in SoCal!
We headed out towards the poppy reserve but weren't seeing many poppies yet, so we figured we'd take the day and adventure through some public but obviously not often used dirt roads in the area. We still got some spectacular views, peppered with the occasional Joshua tree.
We happened upon a shooting area that also seemed to double as a hobo camp, but amongst the detritus and shells were pretty little yellow flowers called Goldfields.
We also found a smattering of Pineapple Weed. This stuff was previously misrepresented to me as wild chamomile (which honestly it looks and smells similar), but it is also edible and can be made into a tea. I just like to crush it up and sniff it.
We went up a few hills and turned a corner and...BOOF! Poppies!
We figured here was as good a place as any to sit down for a picnic lunch, being careful to pick as bare of an area as possible to sit.
Weirdly enough, we finally made it to the Antelope Valley poppy reserve and there were no poppies. Hardly any! The people at the visitor's center were directing folks to a place that was only vaguely in our area to "maybe" see some, but the roads we were on weren't really accessible with a regular family car so that could have been it. Also, the poppy reserve is apparently the home of the $50 Cafepress sweatshirt :P skorzy bought his traditional "official patch" and we were off for a small bit of geekery.
This unimpressive pile of rocks is actually one half of an extinct volcano. This is known as the Neenach volcanic formation. The other half of this volcano is in Pinnacles National Monument near Salinas...195 miles away. Yay for seismically active areas!
But really, I just came for the poppies.