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Happenings

Thanks to the Rain The Antelope Valley Poppy Bloom Might Be Spectacular This Year

February 6, 2017 by Brian Champlin

7 inches.

That’s the minimum amount of rain necessary to make a prodigious poppy bloom possible at the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve in Lancaster, CA. We’re already over the mark as enter month two of 2017, but let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves.

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“We need the rains to continue on a regular basis to maintain the bloom,” California State Park Interpreter Jean Rhyne tells the San Francisco Chronicle. “That’s really what they need. With the past years of drought, there isn’t a lot of moisture built up in the soil. If we’d had several years of good rain and enough moisture content in the soil, the plants would be growing early enough to carry them through a freeze or heat wave. The roots needs to be deep enough for them to tolerate extreme conditions.”

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Poppy Bloom

Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve. Photo by Anita Ritenour via flickr cc

Despite the caution, the early signs are good.

Here’s the latest update according to the official Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve website:

“As of February 6th, the recent rains have started to green up the hills with tiny wildflower sprouts, but it is too early to determine if and when we will have a good bloom this year. We are currently seeing a lot of grasses and filaree sprouts and not very many poppies, but new sprouts are coming up every day so check back weekly for updates.  If all goes well, we can expect the bloom to start in early to mid-March and last until mid-April or later.”

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