California’s Super Bloom

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California’s Super Bloom

Bryana Sirisute-Popejoy, Social-Media-Manager

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In March 2019, due to the recent rainfall that had occurred, a natural phenomenon called a super bloom occurred recently in areas of California like Lake Elsinore, which is sending millions of butterflies to swarm Southern California.

The flowers are sending more than 150,000 people from around the world to go and visit the super bloom in places such as Lake Elsinore and Walker Canyon (Located in Lake Elsinore). The Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, which is California’s largest park, is covered in greenery, poppies, primroses, and lilies and is considered is also experiencing a super bloom because it’s usually relatively bare and deserted in the park. The super bloom can also be seen from high heights like from space, helicopters, drones, and from airplanes.

The super bloom, as seen from space. (Courtesy of CNN)

The super bloom is also occurring at the Los Angeles International Airport, where flowers are growing at the airfield. The largest concentration of the blooming wildflowers at the airfield is on the north side between two runways that stretch for 10,880 feet (3,316 meters).

The super bloom in the airfield of the airport. (Courtesy of LAX)

Surprisingly enough, the crowds that come and visit the orange wildflowers are just about the size of Disneyland crowds. City officials had to temporarily close access to the Walker Canyon area on March 17th. The city officials had planned to mount massive effort to control crowds and address other problems that came, like the amount of traffic there was present. The area of poppies and flowers opened up the next day.

A Painted Lady Butterfly. (Courtesy of Science-News)

Not only did the winter rainfall bring just the flowers, it had also brought swarms of butterflies to California. Vanessa Cardui, or the Painted Lady butterflies, are a species of butterfly and are also one of the most common butterflies species. Although they’re not rare of a species and they inhabit almost every continent, excluding Australia and Antarctica, the numbers from last year weren’t as much as this year. The butterflies reside in warmer areas but during spring migrate in spring and then sometimes do it again in Autumn. Due to the rainfall, which may had helped the plant life by a bit and helping the sparse environment, millions of the Painted Ladies are migrating to Southern California. These butterflies are actually known to travel annually from the deserts of Southern California to the Pacific Northwest. “I’ve seen butterflies flying around a lot more recently. It’s nice to see that we’re starting to get more plant life, and more insects this year.” 7th Grader Jessica Diaz commented.

A Painted Lady Butterfly. (Courtesy of Science-News)

Some students at Dana had also seen the butterflies flying around. Others had also visited areas with the flowers or had seen areas in California with the flowers. 7th Grader Madison Grgas said, “I was going to my grandpas house in Bakersfield, and when driving the hills were filled with thousands of orange, yellow, and red flowers. I think they were poppies, and it looked like the hill were covered with orange dust.” 7th Grade Student Amanda Barraza had also commented.

The colorful hills of Walker Canyon. (Courtesy of USA Today)

Overall, the recent rain has definitely caused an impact to California’s environment. With tons of flowers growing on the hills, tourists from all over had been coming to witness the view. The super bloom had also brought along an excessive amount of butterflies, more than usual due to the rain, that usually migrate from the northwest to the south. The phenomenon was definitely a unique and interesting natural experience.