10 stunning photos of Southern California's poppies bursting into bloom after months of drought

FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty ImagesPeople visit poppy fields near the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve.
  • The Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve in Lancaster, California, is in full bloom.
  • The fields are so bright that a NASA satellite could photograph them from space.
  • Those who don’t live close enough to walk or bike to the state park can view the flowers via livestream.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The world may feel an uncertain place due to the upheaval of the coronavirus pandemic, but spring has still sprung.

The Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve in Lancaster, California, is much emptier than usual since it closed to vehicular traffic, but its spectacular poppies are as vivid as ever. The orange bursts are so bright that a NASA satellite even spotted them from space.

Here are 10 photos that show California’s most famous poppy field in full bloom.


On April 14, NASA’s Operational Land Imager captured the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve in bloom.

Lauren Dauphin/NASA Earth ObservatoryThe Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve as seen from space.

After months of drought, extra heavy rains in March and April saved poppy season.


The bright orange flowers carpet the rolling hills.

FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty ImagesA vehicle makes its way toward poppy fields near the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve.

Poppy season usually falls between mid-February and mid-May, depending on the year’s rainfall.


The Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve, a popular spring tourist destination, is currently closed to vehicular traffic.

FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty ImagesA car drives past poppy fields near the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve.

Due to social distancing, the park is only open to those who can walk or bike there.


But the poppies have sprouted up all over Lancaster, California.

Mario Anzuoni/ReutersA vehicle is seen in a poppy field near the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve.

Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve is one of the best places to see poppies in the state, but it’s not the only place they grow.


In addition to poppies, the warm weather has allowed other flower varieties to flourish this season.

Mario Anzuoni/ReutersFlowers at the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve.

Fiddlenecks, slender keel fruits, red maids, owl’s clower, and forget-me-nots are also in bloom, according to the park’s official website.


Some locals ventured out to Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve to enjoy the poppies while practicing social distancing.

FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty ImagesA woman wearing a face mask takes selfies in poppy fields near the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve.

Selfie sticks come in handy for taking socially distant selfies.


One graduate posed in a cap and gown surrounded by the orange blossoms.

FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty ImagesA girl poses in her graduation outfit in poppy fields near the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve.

Graduation ceremonies may be cancelled, but there’s still cause to celebrate one’s accomplishments with a floral photo shoot.


Others focused their lenses on the flowers themselves.

Mario Anzuoni/ReutersA person takes photos at the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve.

The empty park provides a unique opportunity to photograph the scenery without throngs of tourists.


Those who don’t live close enough to see the flowers in person can view them via livestream.

FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty ImagesPeople visit poppy fields near the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve.

Like Keukenhof flower fields in the Netherlands, Antelope Valley is also offering virtual tours.


California poppies aren’t used to produce opiates, but the plants do have pain-relieving properties.

FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty ImagesA couple takes a walk in a poppy field near the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve.

Taking in their vibrant colours, even through a screen, can be a good mood booster, too.

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