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California’s intense wildflower super bloom even looks amazing from space

Satellite photos show the phenomenon from far above

Charlie Lee/Creative Commons

The “super bloom” of wildflowers in Southern California and throughout the state has driven people hoping to catch a glimpse of poppies, lupines, and an array of wildflowers in bloom to visit nature preserves and state and national parks in droves.

But the view from the ground is different than the one taken from above—way above. Satellite images of the super bloom, captured by a start-up called Planet Labs and first seen on KQED, give a totally new perspective on just how widespread and colorful this year’s mega bloom turned out to be.

The high-resolution satellite images show popular super bloom sites north of Los Angeles: the Los Padres National Forest, northeast of Santa Barbara, and the Carrizo Plain National Monument, east of Santa Maria.

The images show both sites before the floral explosion, in early December 2016, and at peak blossom, in late March 2017.

The super bloom in the Carrizo Plain National Monument.
Courtesy of Planet Labs Inc.

According to KQED, these locations are not so vibrant anymore, as “Lush green and yellow is replaced by reddish browns as the flowers opened up for just a few weeks to become pollinated before dying off.”

Luckily, the super bloom in Southern California doesn’t seem to have disappeared just yet.

The bloom in the Los Padres National Forest.
Courtesy of Planet Labs Inc.