Poppy Power

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Stalking the wily California poppy in the western Antelope Valley. We knew the bloom was at its peak earlier in the week, so we took off after I finished with work around 4 o’clock on Thursday.

We found this dirt track off of Lancaster Road. That’s just how brilliant the poppies are!

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The track turned at a fence. Pretty sure that’s the California Aqueduct between us and the hills because we encountered some water gates.

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Yes, I lay down in the weeds to get this shot. And earned a pants-load of little stickery things in my jeggings. (I need some hiking pants!)

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I love the silky look of the petals. You can see it on the upper petal of the far right flower.

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Fences. I took lots of shots of this one.

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Another view of the flowers with the aqueduct between us and the hills. You can see how the trees burned in a wild fire a few years ago.

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Wonderful time to be in the desert. This will all be a lovely sepia before too long.

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Looking north, I think, toward Tehachapi. You can just make out a congregation of modern wind mills at the base of the mountains, to the right.

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Wind power has been a thing out here for quite some time.  We also saw new banks of solar panels along our way.

 

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Last poppy stop, a little ridge Hydra noted on the way out.

For the geologically inclined amongst you, the blue ridge to the right is, I  think, Ritter Ridge. separates the beautiful Leona Valley from the Antelope Valley, and it’s also known as the San Andreas fault ridge. The Leona Valley is basically ground zero for the the plate boundry between the North American and Pacific plates. It’s gorgeous, with lots of grazing land, fruit orchards, vineyards and lakes (aka sag ponds, where the fault meets an aquifer and viola! water!)

Who’d have thougt I’d end up living on a different tectonic plate than I grew up on? Not me!

 

 

 

 

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Too Pooped to Poppy

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Hydra and I were on our way into Palmdale on Sunday to run errands when we saw this amazing spray of poppies on the hillside next to the 14 freeway. We turned around and went back for the good camera.

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Another shot from Sierra Highway.  This is part of the Sierra Pelona mountain range.  I gather than pelona means “bald” in Spanish.  As you can tell by the slant of the tree in the foreground, there is a lot of wind through this pass. This is one of the places where snow and rain gets stuck on it’s way to the Mojave Desert.

 

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The view from The Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve.  Some friends who live in Neenach (pronounced KneeKnock) told us that later that there were more a bit further east of us.  It was good to be out in the less populated part of the Antelope Valley, anyway.  This is looking south west, I think, back toward the Sierra Pelonas.

I think it’s a bit early for poppies, since the California Poppy Festival isn’t scheduled till the end of April.  If we don’t get more rain, it doesn’t seem promising that there will be much to see by then.

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The elusive, effusive California poppy.

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For the geologically inclined amongst you, that is Ritter Ridge in the background. It separates the beautiful Leona Valley from the Antelope Valley, and it’s also known as the San Andreas fault ridge. The Leona Valley is basically ground zero for the San Andreas Fault. It’s gorgeous, with lots of grazing land, fruit orchards and lakes (aka sag ponds, where the fault meets an aquifer and viola! water!)