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Ten Things of Thankful: California Poppies

Spring has arrived.  On Wednesday, I took off for a few hours to hike.  The weather was perfect:  the sun was shining, the wind kept itself to a cool, slight breeze (as opposed to Thursday, when the sustained wind speed was 37.5 mph), and the temperature was warm, but not oppressive.  

My Ten Things of Thankful list this week will be mostly made of photos.  Each time I climbed another hill, or turned another corner, I was delighted with the new view.  Come along with me!

The poppy fields can be seen from miles away.

Photo:  The poppy fields turn the hills in the distance bright orange.
Many other people had the same idea I had on Wednesday. The line to get into the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve was longer than I've ever seen it. Many cars turned around and decided to just park on the main street and hike into the reserve.

Photo:  A view taken from the hill, looking down on the parking lot.  Cars were lines up nearly to the main road to wait to pay for parking.
Once I finally got the car parked and started to hike, I was greeted with wonderful views.  I hiked the steepest and furthest trails, and was rewarded by moments of solitude.  

Photo:  A silvery-colored small bush (rabbits' brush?) in the foreground in a field of orange poppies
Photo: A Blue Dicks flower provides contrast against poppies and yellow wildflowers

Photo:  Another Blue Dicks flower, with orange poppies in the background
Photo:  A close up of a California poppy
Photo:  A trail winds uphill through patches of yellow, blue, and orange wildflowers
Photo:  Bright orange poppies in foreground, snow-capped mountains in background
Photo: A particularly solid swath of poppies on the hillside
Photo:  A closer shot of a patch of poppies
Photo:  The poppies seem to go on forever, with mountains in the distance
Photo:  The trail goes through the middle of a poppy field
Photo:  Looking to the north, the valley is filled with orange poppies
Although I've seen rattlesnakes in previous years, the only ones I saw this time were on the warning signs.

Photo:  A sign warning of rattlesnakes
I did, however, see numerous lizards. 

Photo:  A Side-blotched Lizard suns itself on the trail
Thanks for coming along on this virtual hike!  I'm thankful for spring and for the beauty of the flowers.  I'm also thankful for John, who is going to be done with work for the day soon and then we're heading out on a date, so I'm going to get this posted without further ado.  

What are you thankful for this week?  Go visit the Ten Things of Thankful blog to see what other bloggers are thankful for, or to link up your own post. 






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Comments

  1. Wow, I had no idea the poppies would be this thick or this beautiful. Thank you for sharing your gorgeous photos of this beautiful area.

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    1. The rains really helped this year, as did the fact I visited on a warm, relatively still day. When it is windy, the poppies stay closed up.

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  2. Whoa, I haven't seen California wildflowers that plentiful and gorgeous for many years! Thanks for sharing. You can see where "Golden State" comes from.

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  3. Those poppies are beautiful. I was in awe just looking at your photographs of them. Thank you!

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    1. In a couple of months, everything will be brown again, but this spring is beautiful.

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  4. Your photos, as always are stunning. I like to see the view and get closer and closer to the poppies. Have fun on your date night.

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    1. Thank you. Glad you enjoyed the poppy reserve! :-)

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  5. I'm with val... awfully good photography and a good TToT post.
    How long a wait was it? Seems like a long line, which given the context, wide open desert (or whatever the appropriate designation of land/climate).
    Looks like a full day adventure.
    enjoyed this post

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    Replies
    1. I forgot to time the wait. It was a long line, but numerous cars in front of me gave up and did a u-turn to go park on the main road. Also, there was plenty of available parking still. When I first saw the line, I was afraid they might have reached capacity and been on a one-out, one-in system, but that wasn't the case. (At least not the day I was there; they have done that on weekends.) I'm thinking I probably waited in line about 20 minutes before I got to the booth to pay.

      And yes, desert is the correct description.

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  6. Oh my gosh these are amazing! I loved your photos. - Just became a follower of your blog.

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    1. Thanks for your kind words, and for following. Welcome to the TToT!

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  7. What a beautiful treat this was, to come with you as you enjoyed your hike! Such breathtaking scenery... and those poppies are amazing! I am thankful for all gorgeous places God has created for us to find pleasure and comfort in! I am delighted that you had such nice weather to go for a hike, I know it gave you some well-deserved respite from a busy time of life. I also love that you do "date night" as we do, every couple should, it's fun and brings you even closer together! Blessings to you in the week ahead!

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    1. Date night has continued every week we've been married. It doesn't necessarily cost money, or even require us leaving the house, but we always designate time each week to spend together playing a game, going for a walk, watching a movie, or even just talking together at the home improvement store!

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  8. Absolutely beautiful photos! Thank you so much for sharing them!

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    1. Thank you. Glad you enjoyed the hike! :-)

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  9. OMG how beautiful! I lived in CA for 15 years and was always amazed when the rains would bring out the beauty. Thank you so much for sharing!

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    1. It is quite the contrast from the usual brown, dry landscape.

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  10. I am thankful for your beautiful photos. Great vistas.

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  11. Gorgeous. GORGEOUS. I swear, one of these days, I'm going to dig in old pictures and find the ones from the time we tried to see the poppies. It was NOTHING like this!

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    Replies
    1. Some years are better than others. This is a good year. :-)

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  12. I love this post. Despite the fact it is a virtual hike, all photos, it is making me smile. You describe it all so well that I don't mind I am not seeing the photos. Lizards better than snakes, but both make their home there, among the poppies. Love it. Also love Antelope Valley Poppy Reservation. Sounds like a lovely day for a hike. Thanks for taking me along.

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    1. Oh, Kerry, this is such a compliment. I'm glad you enjoyed the hike!

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  13. The poppy fields are GORGEOUS - absolutely stunning.
    And lizards are always cool. :)

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    1. I was all prepared to take a photo of rattlesnakes if the opportunity arose, but I'll settle for lizards. :-)

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  14. Those photos are such a beautiful enticement! :-) It worked.

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  15. Such beautiful fields of poppies, being in a place like that will remind us to be grateful, won't it?

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