Wild flowers here, there and everywhere, so if you're planning a trip to Southern California and you are a nature-loving wildflower enthusiast, now is the time to jump in the car, aboard train or hop on a plane and come on down!
Don’t set your calendar for spring to begin on March 20, at least not in California. Spring is springing all over the state from the deserts to the mountains in a wild profusion of flowers, especially in the southern half of the state.
The newly dotted landscape is all thanks to Mom Nature and a series of gentle storms that came and went during February, that not only washed away the smog, but gave millions of seeds the water they thirsted for.
Periodic rain makes for happy seedlings, and happy birds that help in the pollination process, but not so happy insects that the birds feed on. Horticulturists are saying that the well-spaced rains that started last fall began the process towards an early spring.
Although in January, when Los Angeles and environs had little rain, but a temporary early summer with 17 straight days of 80 degree plus temperatures, the flowers became confused and began blooming prematurely.
They then shrank back when really cold weather set in, and horticulturalists were concerned that they might not recover from the setback and catch up again. But they did.
It's gonna be great, said Albert Torres, chief ranger at Griffith Park, noting the big-pod ceanothus exploding in the chaparral and the johnny jump-ups and shooting stars splashing purple in the canyons of America's largest urban wild land park.
All the signs are here with the landscape already dotted with sprigs of bluish-white ceanothus, phacilia, a classic fire follower with purple, trumpet-shaped blooms, blue dicks with lavender blooms on wiry stems, bitsy baby blue eyes, whispering bells, native currants and manzanita with hanging white and pink bells.
All of these and more are just a backdrop for the state’s most famous wild bloomer, the California poppy, which can be seen almost everywhere.
I think all signs point to a really good wildflower season, said Lili Singer, horticulturist at the Theodore Payne Foundation's 22-acre nursery of native plants in Sun Valley, whose 27th annual California Wildflower Report and hotline is set to kick off March 6. They're about to pop over here. It's about to explode.
The eye-popping displays, which always attract visitors from locals to tourists, aren’t limited to Southern California, but are popping up all over the state.
In the San Fernando Valley just north of Los Angeles proper, thousands of cherry trees around Lake Balboa are ready to bloom.
We're about a week away from the cherry blooms,said Jane Kolb, spokeswoman for the Department of Recreation and Parks. I think it's one of the most spectacular things in the city.
Just to rub salt in the wounds to go along with the salt being sprinkled on the roads in some parts of the mid-West and East, Bill Patzert, a NASA climatologist who works for JPL ,said while enjoying the floral display behind his Sierra Madre residence:
In Southern California, fall ends in December, then we get one month of winter, then the spring starts in February, every year. How lucky are we, when they're still getting snowfall on the East Coast, the Great Lakes are frozen solid, we're having springtime in February.