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Poppy Reserve Blooms a Dud This Year

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The peak bloom has already quickly come and gone at the California Poppy Reserve in Antelope Valley where crowds packed the park this past weekend. "All the wildflowers are fading quite suddenly," said the state's Poppy Reserve website on Sunday. "Although the rains seemed to come at the right time and drop the right amount, the bloom hadn't seemed to peak yet before it began fizzling out."

Lili Singer at the Theodore Payne Foundation, producers of the weekly Wildflower Hotline, told us that the lack of late rains is probably why this year's bloom was not so great. "I've seen the wildflowers at Gorman and it's a shadow of previous years, but every year is different," she noted.

Casey Schreiner on his blog, Modern Hiker, found that the blooms are doing well elsewhere. "I hate to say it... but I think those NorCal’ers got us beat on the wildflower show... at least for this time of the year," he wrote after visiting wildflower sites in both parts of the state last week.