Friday, April 22, 2016

FEAR OF MISSING OUT: THE ANTELOPE VALLEY POPPY RESERVE ON AN OFF-YEAR

on a good year

the day I went



This week's arts and culture column is on the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve, an hour and a half outside L.A.

It starts like this:

The Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve, located 15 miles west of Lancaster, is an 1,800-acre state reserve “located on California’s most consistent poppy-bearing land.”

On April 2, the website’s “Bloom Status” noted: “The season appears to have ended early, as last month’s rains came too late to sustain the bloom that had barely started.”

Or, as the lady behind the register in the gift shop observed to a fellow poppy seeker, “It just didn’t happen this year.”

I knew that before I made a field trip to the Poppy Reserve, on March 31. But visiting on an off-year, I figured, would be its own, different kind of salute to the California Poppy (Eschscholtzia californica), our state flower since 1903.

At the 2,000-square-foot Jane S. Pinheiro Interpretive Center (and gift shop), I learned about “The Great Poppy Lady,” an Antelope Valley resident and self-taught wildflower artist. In the 1940s, Jane painted watercolors of the local wildflowers that were declared by a UC Davis botanist to be “botanically correct and really a treasure.”


READ THE WHOLE PIECE HERE.



2 comments:

  1. That is heartbreaking. I went years ago when it looked like the top photo. Like all of us, they've needed rain for years.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh HAVEN'T we!

      'Thou art indeed just, Lord, if I contend'

      BY GERARD MANLEY HOPKINS
      Justus quidem tu es, Domine, si disputem tecum; verumtamen
      justa loquar ad te: Quare via impiorum prosperatur?


      Thou art indeed just, Lord, if I contend
      With thee; but, sir, so what I plead is just.
      Why do sinners’ ways prosper? and why must
      Disappointment all I endeavour end?
      Wert thou my enemy, O thou my friend,
      How wouldst thou worse, I wonder, than thou dost
      Defeat, thwart me? Oh, the sots and thralls of lust
      Do in spare hours more thrive than I that spend,
      Sir, life upon thy cause. See, banks and brakes
      Now, leavèd how thick! lacèd they are again
      With fretty chervil, look, and fresh wind shakes
      Them; birds build – but not I build; no, but strain,
      Time’s eunuch, and not breed one work that wakes.
      Mine, O thou lord of life, send my roots rain.

      Delete

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