Old School Film Hack

Poppies and Lupines in the Chaparral


This was one of the most stunning views of wildflowers I’ve ever seen.

Back in mid-May of 2003, we were out in southern California visiting my family, headed up Interstate 5 to see my sister graduate from college in the Bay Area, when we stumbled across this magnificent splash of color — on the chaparral hills near the small town of Gorman.

As we approached the radiant hues in the distance, I simply ordered my Dad to exit and get onto one of the side roads, then head for the hills that were just shimmering with violets, yellows, oranges, and browns.  He and the rest of the family were quite bemused at my audacity, but I didn’t care; I was too enthralled by the amazing flora to worry about it and proceeded to scramble and get my camera ready.

For those that are wondering, the yellow blooms are California tickseed; the blue is a mixture of Bentham lupine, bluehead gilia, and lacy phacelias; and the orange blossoms sprinkled throughout are California poppies, the state flower.

Seeing the hills and valleys draped with vibrant chroma was utterly remarkable and I could have stayed there all day, but we were under a tight driving schedule, so I only had enough time to capture a handful of shots before we resumed our sprint up the Golden State. This is one of the eight keepers I have from that memorable stop.

16 thoughts on “Poppies and Lupines in the Chaparral

    1. Mitch Zeissler Post author

      Thanks! I should have noted just how quickly the western blooms can come and go; I’ve read elsewhere online that this specific area is notable for the show it puts on and how short it lasts — just a matter of weeks according to some accounts.


  1. Pingback: Vintage California Poppies | Sharon's meanderings

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