April 21 - 22, 2001
Antelope Valley, located in the Antelope Buttes 15 miles west of Lancaster in southern California, is one of the California's most consistent poppy-bearing land. I have been monitoring its spring wildflower conditions on calphoto.com for serveral years, and decided that it is time to go there this year after reading so many good comments.
Although the weather was not very good during the week (cloudy, windy, and rainy), forcast showed a good chance for the weekend. It's about five and a half hours driving from the Bay Area to Antelope Valley. We stopped for gas and food, and the kids slept well in the car, so the long distance driving was not too bad for us.
|It's about 3PM when we got to the Antelope Valley. Before we approached the poppy fields, we can see the orange color has covered the foothills from the distance. We stopped at a few places along the roads (170th St, 140th St, 130-120th St, etc.) for poppy fields. It was too windy this afternoon and all the poppies were closed. We can see there were a lot of poppies in blooming, but they need to wait for the right conditions to open their flowers. We just had to cross our fingers and prayed for a calm and sunny day tomorrow.|
One good thing to photograph poppies is that you don't have to get up early. Poppies are closed and will not open until sun rises and the air gets warm. So we have plenty of time to prepare before checkout our hotel in Lancaster.
|There are many good poppy fields scattering around the Antelope Valley area. I'd like to give my own rating based on the condition on this weekend. Grand prize award: 170th St. Second prize: Poppy Reserve. Third prize: 120-130th St. This map shows their locations and other poppy fields we've visited.|
It's another long way to drive back home. It's definitely a good year of poppy blooming and well worth the 750-mile round-trip. Besides seeing so many poppies at once, at least we also know we are not allergic to poppies and other wildflowers in Antelope Valley.
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