A correction has been made to this story. See below for details.
I wouldn't call it a banner year yet, but the California poppy bloom in Antelope Valley is starting to look like it's worth the drive. On Saturday morning, Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve officials posted the above photo on Facebook and wrote, "The hills are green with rivers of orange around the park! With the periodic rains we got in March we should have a good (maybe great) bloom spread through all of April." Patches of other wildflowers -- white forget me nots, purple lupine, lacy phacelia, yellow goldfields, and fiddleneck -- could also be found, they added.
Meanwhile, some showy displays appear to be found in spots outside the reserve. Desert USA earlier this week indicated good viewing east of the reserve on 110th Street between avenues G and D.
What's my verdict? While I think a drive out today or over the next few would yield an enjoyable time, I'm personally going to hedge my bets and wait to see if the bloom strengthens.
If You Go: Help us out with a field report and leave a comment below. It's easy to sign in via Facebook/Twitter/Google/etc and to share photos, videos, and links! Remember to include the date and time of your visit.
Logistics: Parking at the reserve (15101 Lancaster Rd, Lancaster, California 93536) is $10. Dogs, unless they are service dogs, are not allowed on the trails or cannot be left inside vehicles. Cloudy days, wind, and colder weather can cause poppies to curl up (see top photo), so make sure to check the weather before you go if that matters to you.
Be Careful: Many of the blooms seen outside the park are on private land. Enjoy them from the side of the road and avoid stepping into the fields. This can damage the spots for years or forever. The fields are also great places for rattlesnakes to hide.
Correction: An earlier version of this story included a Tweet with a photo of a gorgeous poppy field and indicated that it was taken recently. The photo was an archive photo. I regret the error. A recently taken photo by Destination Lancaster has been added.