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Poppies... Poppies. Poppies Will Lure 'Em to the Antelope Valley

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Thousands of people flock to the Antelope Valley each spring to see the poppies in bloom, however, Mother Nature hasn't exactly been following the humans' plans. Though this weekend was the 20th annual California Poppy Festival in Lancaster, unfortunately it's not a stellar year for the wildflower.

"It looks like this just isn't a big year for poppies. We usually have our peak around this time, but it doesn't appear that we'll really have a "peak", just an extended minimal display, possibly through the end of May," explains an April 15th update on the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve State Natural Reserve (SNR) website.

California State Parks interpreter Jeanne Rhyne told the LA Times that sthis year's blooms are disappointing. It happens, though; in 2009 the blooms seemed to fade before they even peaked.

If you're heading out to Lancaster to see the poppies and the other wildflowers as they bloom between now and the end of next month, the SNR has some tips for where to go:

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Poppies are widely scattered so you can find some along any of the trails. Right now the best displays of grape soda lupine are along the Tehachapi Vista trail, especially the western side, but some expected nice displays of grape soda are just starting near the beginning of the Lightning Bolt trail. Lightning Bolt trail is also a good walk to see forget-me-nots and lacy phacelia near the summit. Owl's clover can be found along the North Poppy Loop trail. Walking the Valley Vista trail, you will find the best displays of forget-me-nots, suncups, a tiny blue gilia, and, if you are there very late in the afternoon, evening snow. A good hiking route for a variety of wildflowers would be around the North Poppy Loop Trail and then up and over the Tehachapi Vista Point Trail, or up to Kitanemuk Vista Point.

LAist headed out there around this time last year to check out the blooms.