I was driving home from work the other day and pulled over to take a closer look at these beautiful flowers overlooking Pipes beach.

As predicted, California is currently experiencing an overwhelming wildflower bloom, pretty much finding their way into any nook and cranny where they can grow. My social media pages have been inundated with photos of the beautiful poppies in Lake Elsinore’s Walker Canyon, and the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve, which is amazing, but also shows that everybody and their dog (literally) has found their way to the poppies. I love that California’s state flower is getting people off their couches and into nature, but seeing photos of individuals trampling, laying in, and even picking the poppies makes me really sad. I would like to go see the super bloom for myself, but at this point, I feel that humans have done enough damage to these flowers, and I don’t really want to contribute.

Although the poppies are only blooming in such abundance in a select few areas, other varieties of beautiful wildflowers are carpeting Southern California’s hills. In the last few weeks, when I’ve been driving, I’ve noticed all the beautiful flowers on the sides of the road. I love poppies, and they’ve always been my favorites, but all the yellow and purple flowers I’ve seen recently have blown my mind. It’s insane to think that normally, the areas they are covering are generally brown or dark green, regardless of the season. While I complained all winter about the rain, it is nice to see that the inclement weather brought some extra pizazz to our spring.

Even along the 101, there are giant bushes covered with what appear to be desert sunflowers. When I walk my dog near the train tracks, I get sneezing fits from all the pollen! If you’re interested in seeing the flowers, but are also disheartened by the crowds at the poppy fields, I highly recommend just taking a look in your own backyard. Local hiking zones, like Torrey Pines and Penasquitos Canyon have trails for hikers of all abilities to enjoy the fresh air and see some of our special wildflowers. I love all the color these flowers have brought to our region, and I am definitely glad that we don’t have to fight traffic or take a shuttle to go see some of California’s gorgeous blooms.