- Parts of Southern California are experiencing “super blooms” of flowers.
- Walker Valley and the city of Lake Elsinore, located about 50 miles southeast of Los Angeles, has an ongoing super bloom of orange poppies.
- Tourists are clogging the valley’s roads and cars in their efforts to see the flowers.
- DigitalGlobe’s WorldView-2 satellite photographed the bursts of color and activity from space on Tuesday.
The hot, dry hillsides of southern California are normally covered in drab desert scrub. But some of them harbor a colorful secret: Millions of flowers that wait for the perfect conditions to bloom.
Over the past month, the just-right combination of ample rain in December and stable cooler temperatures arrived in Walker Canyon, which is located about 50 miles southeast of Los Angeles. This triggered a “super bloom” of dazzling orange poppy flowers that the area typically sees only once every 10 years.
Hordes of tourists have since descended upon the nearby city of Lake Elsinore, filling the roads with traffic and stuffing the hillsides with people who are trying to get a perfect Instagram selfie with the flowers.
Meanwhile in space, the bursts of orange color — and miles’ worth of cars — are so dense that the WorldView-2 satellite owned by DigitalGlobe easily spotted the scene from about 480 miles above the planet.
“DigitalGlobe collected a new set of images yesterday (March 19th) of the ‘Superbloom’ near Lake Elsinore, California,” a company representative told Business Insider in an email. “The colorful satellite imagery shows the hillsides along Walker Canyon filled with blooming poppies as well as hundreds of cars parked nearby and people hiking along trails in the area.”
What California’s orange super bloom looks like from space
This photo taken by WorldView-2, which launched in October 2009, shows an overview of Walker Canyon (top) and Lake Elsinore (bottom).
In the image below, the Walker Canyon hiking trail-head begins at left just north of Interstate 15.
The on-ramps to the location shows scores of vehicles parked along the roadside.
Zooming into the trail-head (center-left), people can be seen as small dots walking up the hills and toward patches of flowers.
Northwest of the trail, and a couple of miles west of the cty of Perris, California, the orange-poppy super bloom appears especially lush with flowers.
The bloom — and the surge of interest and visitors it has inspired — is expected to last about one more week, according to Conde Nast Traveler.
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