In a series of aerial images, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) revealed the vast quantities of flowers blooms —the California poppy— in the Antelope Valley, California. With the reserve temporarily closed due to coronavirus containment measures this year, the breath-taking mix of wildflower reserve was captured by NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Centre, which is located close to the super bloom.
Orange You Glad It’s Spring? 🌻🌼— NASA Earth (@NASAEarth) April 29, 2020
After a wet March & April 2020, fields of poppies colored @PoppyReserve a bright orange. Park officials called this bloom an “unexpected” surprise due to the late season rains.
Enjoy flower gazing with 🛰️ @NASA_Landsat: https://t.co/fntMjCkeOg pic.twitter.com/Hjs92itZat
NASA’s official website, Earthwatch, wrote saying that the fields of poppies coloured the landscape a bright orange this spring. Suspected, that it was on its peak, the poppy flowers bloom was recorded on Operational Land Imager (OLI) on the Landsat 8 satellite in the valley’s poppy reserves amid solar farms and green pastures.
With “significant rainfall" in March, the poppies this year, 2020 are expected to stick around longer than usual and would result in an above-average wildflower year, NASA explained. “Lancaster received around 10.5 inches (27 centimetres) of rain—almost 4 inches (10 centimetres) above normal,” the organization calculated. Further, it said, “Depending on the day or even hour, the orange patches may change in appearance.”
Speaking about the appearance of the blooms, NASA wrote, “The poppies open their petals during sunny periods, appearing like a large blanket over the landscape. The flowers tend to close during windy, cold periods.” It said that while the orange poppies could easily be traced on the satellite imagery, the fields also contained “cream cups, forget-me-nots, purple bush lupines, and yellow goldfields (a relative of the sunflower)”.
California Department of Parks and Recreation has hosted a live stream show for the general visitors to watch the California poppies bloom online. Therefore, people could now tour the park virtually as they remained confined due to stay-at-homes order to stem the transmission rate of the novel coronavirus. Similarly, US National Park Foundation provided virtual visits for the people to the parks that have drawn the visitors for centuries via interactive maps and tours. US citizens could enjoy the escape to scenic vista such as the poppies blooms in the national park with a live webcam. One had to enter the name of the park for exploration and sit back and enjoy the beauty of the landscapes amid the ongoing pandemic that has prohibited public gathering.
(Images Credit: NASA/ Earthwatch Official Website)