When I first saw photos of the poppy reserve in Lancaster, I wanted to go immediately (the golden poppy is the California state flower btw). The first and last time I visited the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve was in the spring of 2012, and when we arrived we learned that there were no poppies that season because there had not been enough rain that winter for the flowers to bloom. The following two winters the drought continued, and I checked the poppy reserve website each spring hoping it would say that there were flowers with only bad news. This winter Los Angeles seemed to have had a lot more rain than in the past years, so I had a feeling there would be flowers this year. I checked the poppy reserve website which said they had flowers, but I also checked the instagram hashtag #poppyreserve and saw a flood of recent posts of photos of the bright orange hills of golden poppies. The next day Jason and I drove up to Lancaster for the afternoon and arrived at the poppy reserve to no poppies once again. Apparently they had already dried up for the season and they didn’t bother to update the website. We weren’t completely out of luck, when we left we drove across the road to a random orange hillside covered with poppies and shot a bunch of photos as the sun set. The poppies seem to be a new instagram hot spot, we had plenty of company with other people taking selfies and a girl posing in lingerie on the hill with us.
Photos shot on Contax G2 on expired Kodak Portra 160NC. Photos by Jason MacDonald and Renee Lusano.