2019 Spring Super Bloom of Wildflowers
in Southern California
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羚羊谷 漫山遍野 橙黄颜色的野花 爆發怒放,繽紛燦爛,一望無際,如煙似霞,粉紅色的
夢中,漫步其中,似誤入了瑤池仙境,一見面就被它們完全震撼住了,令人沉醉!

The stunning floral display of 2019 Spring Super Bloom of brilliantly colored California Poppies in Antelope
Valley California Poppy Reserve located at 15101 Lancaster Rd, Lancaster, CA 93536. It is a 1800-acre
reserve. The park lies along the western edge of the Mojave Desert in Antelope Valley between the Tehachapi
Mountains to the north and Liebre Mountain to the south. It is a rural area in western Antelope Valley about 70
miles north of downtown Los Angeles and about 15 miles west of City of Lancaster.

On April 17, 2019 from San Francisco Bay Area, we drove south 320 miles to a hotel in Lancaster, California.
On the next morning of April 18, we drove west 14 miles to enjoy the spectacular super bloom of California
poppies.  We started out early in the morning of April 18 for two important reasons: (1) To get a good parking
spot in the parking lot of Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve because the large parking lot fills up quickly
by huge crowd of visitors coming everyday in such special super-bloom season, and (2) California poppies are
wide open in mid-morning, but close up in late afternoon to prepare to sleep at night.
繁花似锦, 野花如地毯般遍地盛開, 如夢境般。

It is fantastic. The super bloom of California poppy blanketed the rolling hills of Antelope Valley California Poppy
Reserve. It is just so beautiful. The sight of so many poppies can intoxicate.

There were lots of rain in California in last few months from the winter of 2018 continued into the spring of
2019. As a result, there are spectacular  "Super Blooms" of wildflowers over huge areas in many places in
southern California. Such spectacular spring Super Blooms have been attracting huge crowds of nature and
flower lovers to come to enjoy the glorious views.
California Poppy 姿容艷麗,貌若天仙, 貴為美國加利福尼亞州的州花,地位優寵,還
受到保護。

Zoom in for close up views of beautiful California poppies wide open in the mid-morning. California poppy is
the state flower of California.
成千上萬朵野花爭相開放,仿佛給大地鋪上一層金色的地毯,形成壯觀的美景,吸引了很
多遠道而來的遊客


Huge carpet of very dense and beautiful orange colored California poppies on both sides of many roadways in
Antelope Valley near Lancaster. The lovely orange colored flowers are everywhere. It goes on and on for
miles and miles as you drive in this area.

A super bloom is simply an outbreak of flowers that far exceeds the norm. They tend to occur about once a
decade on average in California, but this is the second in three years. Although it’s been only two years since
the last one, locals say this one is even better. The 2019 Spring superbloom in southern California is so vibrant
that it can be seen from satellites in space as described
here. The flower display has been so intense that
satellites orbiting Earth have had no trouble seeing the superbloom.
南加州春天最漂亮的是漫山遍野的橙紅色的花海,大片野花盛開, 放眼望去,滿眼都是
金燦燦的花朵,十分美麗,別有一番韻味,吸引不少慕名而來的遊客。

It’s stunning. The hills are ablaze with color. The best, and safest, place to enjoy California poppies is
the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve, an 1,800-acre state park 15 miles west of Lancaster.

This photo is taken by Yuan Yuan Yeh.
淡淡的四月天絕美花海, 十分誘人。

This photo of "River of Gold" was taken by Yuan Yuan Yeh.
開出一片美麗的花海。

It's not just poppies that come out after bountiful rains. There are swaths of a dozen different wildflowers,
including yellow goldfield flowers, shocks of magenta filarees and purple pygmy-leaved lupine..

These three photos are taken by Yuan Yuan Yeh.
After driving for 320 miles, we arrived at the areas of Antelope Valley and Lancaster in late afternoon of April
17. Many roadside poppies were closed up in late afternoon preparing to sleep at night.

So, it is much better to come in the mid-morning to enjoy the gorgeous views of beautiful California poppies
when they are wide open.
遠遠望去大地仿佛被染成金色, 沿Trail慢漫走,每一步都被這鮮豔的顏色震撼著。

Many wildflower-seekers come to enjoy being surrounded by the sea of ankle-high forest of brilliant poppies.
The spray of color is an annual event, made more intense by this year’s wet winter in California. When the
flowers are as dramatic as this year’s display, they’re called a ‘superbloom.’
賞花高峰期,吸引了很多遠道而來的遊客

Many cars and poppy seekers are coming to the parking lots. Many more are parked on roadsides
outside of the Poppy Reserve.
This is a view of Tehachapi Wind Farm very far away as viewed by the naked eyes or iPhone or smartphone
without zooming power on a Vista Point in Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve.
The sign at the entrance of Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve.
Some purple lupine in here.
漫山遍野的花海吸引無數遊客來到加州的羚羊谷,遊人絡繹不絕。

Many flower chasers on the nice hiking trails in Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve.
This is what I see by using the 65X optical zoom of my compact super-zoom camera as viewed from the
same Vista Point.

I carry my compact super-zoom camera with me in such sightseeing trip to capture near or very far away
images of treasures. The use of compact super-zoom cameras enable users to see much more and to enjoy
much more than what naked eyes, or iPhone or other smartphone can see in sightseeing trips.

The Tehachapi Wind Turbine Farm on Tehachapi Pass on the scenic Tehachapi Mountains in Mojave Desert
has about 5,000 wind turbines spread out over very large areas. What we are seeing from Antelope Valley is
the southern part of the huge Tehachapi Wind Turbine Farm.

Aerial views of the large Tehachapi Wind Farm can be seen
here,

In my previous trip on May 21, 2017, we drove from Lancaster going north on Highway 14 and saw the
eastern part of the huge Tehachapi Wind Farm as shown on my web page at:

https://
www.shltrip.com/Solar_Power_and_Wind_Turbines.html
The Visitor Center in Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve offers informative videos, displays and gift
shop plus nice restroom.
The Parking Lots with ample and good toilet facilities.
賞花高峰期,盡情享 受著花海和陽光,羚羊谷 的奇觀讓人流連忘返。

Many visitors on the nice hiking trails in Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve.,
Very nice hiking trails in Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve.
遊人絡繹不絕還有各地的攝影師也紛至沓來。

Most visitors have an iPhone or other smartphone to take many pictures. Some more serious
photographers brought professional cameras with heavy duty tripods.
When we drove on Highway 138 between Interstate Highway 5 (I-5) and Lancaster or other local roads in
Antelope Valley, we saw lots of beautiful California poppies on both sides of the local roads. It goes on and on
for miles and miles as you drive on these local roads.
When driving on the local roads in Antelope Valley, we saw not only roadside colorful poppy fields, Tehachapi
Wind  turbine farm far away, but also some parts of several huge solar panel farms in Antelope Valley.
Close up view of one of the fenced-in huge solar panel farms in Antelope Valley.

For example, the 579-megawatt Solar Star solar farm in Antelope Valley is the largest solar farm in USA.
Aerial photos of the huge Solar Star solar farm can be seen
here. Another major solar farm in this area is
known as Antelope Valley Solar Ranch.
Another view of the fenced-in solar panel farm and the far away wind turbine farm.
Zoom in on another part of the southern part of the huge Tehachapi Wind Farm as viewed from the local roads
in Antelope Valley.
上帝的畫板, 黃色野花競相開放在綠油油的山坡上, 一下子將整個山點綴的魅力無限。

On our return trip on April 19 driving on Highway 138 going from Lancaster to Interstate Highway 5 (I-5), we
saw this fantastic mosaic of color created by the super bloom of yellow colored wildflowers and green grass
on the mountains near Quail Lake area.
Beautiful patch of purple wildflowers on the mountain slope.
Purple-blue lupines and orange colored poppies on mountain slopes in areas near the junction of Highway 138
and I-5.
自然是很神奇的。

Lovely and colorful mountain slopes near the junction of I-5 and Highway 138 during the spring super bloom
period.
In late afternoon of April 17 during sunset time.
Colorful mountain slopes near Gorman along I-5 near junction with Highway 138.
是誰這樣恣意的潑撒,讓大地鋪上了黃色的織錦,大片大片的野黃花,如散金的黃花,
令人沈醉!

A carpet of lovely yellow wildflowers.
Many Joshua trees in Antelope Valley which is in the Mojave Desert climate zone.
令人驚艷的野花盛放的景象,大自然一片勃勃生機,彰顯出生命的力量與色彩﹗

The Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve comes alive in this special 2019 Spring Super Bloom season.

Historically, the Spanish first encountered and traveled through this area in the late eighteenth century. Under
Mexican rule, the valley was used for seasonal sheep grazing and as an antelope hunting preserve.
One of several Vista Points along the hiking trails on the gentle hills in Antelope Valley California Poppy
Reserve.
童話般的花海,一個人靜靜地觀賞, 享受著花香, 完全陶醉在大自然中。

Eight miles of trails through the gentle rolling hills, including a paved section for wheelchair access, make the
park a wonderful place to hike and to explore the spectacular floral displays and wildlife.
The shining dark colored large solar panel farm in Antelope Valley and the large Tehachapi wind farm very far
away at Tehachapi Mountain.
Benches along the hiking trails for visitors to take a rest.
看著此情此景,大地彷彿舖上了一大片橙黄色的地毯。

River of Gold in Antelope Valley, gorgeous view of densely blooming flowers.
A distance view of the gentle rolling hills of Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve with nice contrast of
colors as viewed from a local road.
Another view of solar panel farm, Tehachapi Wind Turbine Farm and Tehachapi Mountains.
The shining dark colored solar panels.
Part of the dark colored large solar panel farm.
Solar panel farm.
Zoom in on the snow capped San Gabriel Mountains as viewed from Antelope Valley. Many peaks in the San
Gabriel chain exceed 9,000 feet.

The Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve is ringed by the Tehachapi Mountains to the north, and the snow-topped
San Gabriel Mountains to the south.
Zoom in even more on the majestic snow capped Mt. Baldy, the crown jewel of the San Gabriel Mountains, as
viewed from Antelope Valley. Mount Baldy, with peak elevation of 10,064 feet, is the highest peak of the San
Gabriel Mountains and the tallest mountain in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. It dominate the view of the
Los Angeles Basin skyline and of Antelope Valley. It looks like a king of the mountains. Mt. Baldy is visible
from much of Southern California and conversely much of Southern California can be seen from its summit. It
is one of the most photographed objects of the Southern California landscape.

The range also includes Mount Wilson (5,710 feet), with its famous astronomical observatory, just northeast of
Pasadena; favorable weather allows its use for about 300 days a year. Between 1922 and 1927 the physicist
Albert A. Michelson measured the speed of light by sending a beam of light from Mt. Wilson to a mirror on Mt.
Baldy and back again.


We enjoyed very much this 3-day tour of 2019 Spring Super Bloom of wildflowers in Southern California.

The brilliant color displays of 2019 Spring Super Bloom of wildflowers can be seen not only in Antelope Valley
California Poppy Reserve, but also in many other places in California as shown
here, here, here, here and
here.

Massive new blooms are expected to continue over the next several weeks into Central and Northern
California. Some coastal and mountain areas may keep the bloom going into summer. As the season gets
warmer, the peak bloom rises in elevation.

After plastering the Golden State’s lower altitudes from Anza-Borrego to Antelope Valley and beyond with a
color display made for Monet, Mother Nature is taking her 2019 wildflower extravaganza into the mountains.
California’s lesser-known wildflower bloom will erupt in the state’s higher elevations, with plenty of colorful
florals served up as a feast for the eyes. Expect rare plants and wildflowers in sunset colors — yellow,
orange, red, purple — to dot the Eastern Sierra hillsides and the hiking trails of Mammoth Lakes. An explosion
of colorful flowers on mountain slopes and Sierra valleys is expected in the coming days and weeks as the
weather warms up. Forest Service botanists say the blooms could run all summer. With so much snow above
8,000 feet, peak wildflower blooms at the higher elevations may not be until late July or early August, when
they get unburied.

Right now, you can see the progression of blooms from lower to higher altitudes mid-way, showing up in
places such as Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.

Even though the main purpose of this trip is to see the Spring Super Bloom of Wildflowers, I took some side
tours to see the huge wind turbine farm and several major solar panel farms in nearby areas. The reason for
my interest in such side tours is described in the Appendix below.


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Appendix: Progress in Battery Technology for Clean and Renewable Energy

A1. Health Impacts of Heavy Air Pollution

Many photos of heavy air pollution in many cities in developing countries can be seen here. Air pollution levels
in such cities at times are up to 30 times greater than those found in highly developed countries. Sometimes,
the air pollution in such cities are so heavy such that if somebody punched you in the face, you could not even
see who punched you. Residents in such highly polluted cities have reportedly been queuing up to buy face
masks and there is even a shortage of face mask in such cities.  Toxic smog closes schools in such heavily
polluted cities.

The air pollution includes NOT just regular smog. TOXIC HEAVY METALS can also become airborne. This
includes extremely dangerous ones like cadmium, lead and mercury. We breathe them in and they enter our
bloodstream. Those poisonous substances can do deep damage to various cells, organs and immune system  
in our body.

According to the statistics from World Health Organization (WHO), ambient (outdoor) air pollution accounts for
an estimated 4.2 million deaths per year due to stroke, heart disease, lung cancer and chronic respiratory
diseases.

The life expectancies of people living in developing countries with heavily polluted air and environment are
mostly shorter by 10 years or more than those in highly developed countries with clean air and clean
environment.


A2. Use Clean and Renewable Energy Sources

Such strong negative impacts of air pollution on human health and life expectancy provide us a strong incentive
to clean up the air by switching to clean and renewable energy sources such as wind turbine farm or solar
panel farm, instead of the dirty fossil fuels, for electric power generation.

In last 40 years, the wind turbine technology and solar power technology have gone through several
generations of improvements and cost reduction to make them cost effective, reliable and practical.

A3. Issue of Energy Storage for Clean Renewable Energy Sources

However, one serious obstacle is the variation in weather. The electric power generated from a wind turbine
farm may not be reliable because there is no wind in certain time period. Similarly, the electric power
generated from a solar farm may not be reliable because it may be at night with no sun or it may be a raining
day or a snowing day with no sun. So, cost effective storage of energy for use during “bad” weather
conditions has been an important issue for such clean and renewable energy systems.

A4. Progress in Cost Effective Energy Storage Technology

Fortunately, cost effective solution for this issue is available now as described below.

New forms of lower cost electricity storage are making the electric power grid more renewable, more reliable,
cleaner and at lower cost.

"This will be like the change from analog to digital, or landlines to cell phones,” says Advanced Microgrid
Systems CEO Susan Kennedy, whose firm’s software helps utilities optimize their power choices every instant
of every day. “The energy industry will never be the same.”

According to the survey data from BloombergNEF (Bloomberg New Energy Finance Limited Company), the
cost of lithium-ion batteries has plunged 85 percent in a decade, and 30 percent in just the past year (2018).
Two strong driving forces for this downward cost trend come from the transitions in the automotive industry
away from dirty internal combustion engine vehicles into clean electric vehicles and in electric power markets
away from dirty fossil fuels into clean and renewable energy sources, such as wind power and solar power.

With lower cost storage batteries, electric utility companies across the U.S. have started attaching containers
full of lithium-ion batteries to the electric power grid—and they’re planning to install far more of them in the
coming years. Electricity has always been the toughest commodity to manage, because unlike water, grain,
fuel or steel, historically electric power has been largely very difficult and expensive to store for later use. But
that is changing fast, and even though the dramatic growth of batteries on the grid will be invisible to most
Americans, it has the potential to transform how we produce and consume power, creating more flexible and
resilient electricity systems with less waste, lower costs and fewer pollution emissions.

Thanks to the dizzying cost declines, utilities are now building new wind and solar farms accompanied by new
battery storage for less than they would pay to build new fossil-fuel electricity generation plants—and in some
cases less than they would pay to run existing fossil-fuel plants. Pairing renewable electric energy sources
with battery storage lets electric power grid operators fill in gaps when the weather isn’t cooperating and
dispatch power in more predictable ways when it’s needed most

Jigar Shah, the founder of the pioneering solar company Sun Edison and now the president of the clean
energy finance firm Generate Capital, believes hundreds of billions of dollars worth of fossil-fueled peaker
pollution plants that often run just a few hundred hours a year might soon be mothballed for good.

Southwest Power Pool in USA now routinely handles 50 percent and even 60 percent of electric power
generation from wind while keeping the lights on without interruption. There was one afternoon last month
when California’s grid was receiving more than two-thirds of its power from solar with no reliability problems at
all.

Sample references for such rapid trend of cost reduction in energy storage batteries can be seen
here and
here.

For longer term future, in addition to the rapid reduction in the cost of lithium-ion battery, other new energy
storage technologies may become mature and available that may further lower the cost of energy storage.
連綿的花海,非常壯觀。

What makes a bloom “super”?  “It happens when all the weather conditions are just right, and that means
substantial rainfall in late fall and early winter, cool daytime temperatures, and cold nights,“ says California
nature guide author Ann Marie Brown, who adds that such blooms tend to happen once a decade. But
California has now had two in the past three years.
漫山遍野都是花, 春花如此壯觀的綻放。

Wildflower lovers are treated to vivid blooms painting the hilly landscape
They hit you with an unexpected force. Brilliant orange fields of poppies blanket the hillsides and roadsides.
You cannot help but smile and happy.
For many people accustomed to looking out car windows and seeing brown everything in California, the
flaming poppies come as a shock. The state has come alive again.
It is green and vibrant. Nowhere is the landscape more spectacular than here.
藍天下,細細的小黃花,近距離目睹這難得的自然奇景,捕捉最美的瞬間。

A feast for the eyes.
California blue skies enhance the beauty of color-sprayed hills.
The Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve is carpeted with color! Not only do they make for a very nice photo
composition, but they also smell nicely and are worth some deep sniffs.
美麗的山野 花海 開得瀟洒,一下子吸引了不少賞花的遊客, 隨花起舞, 魂牽香夢迷。

The desert environment of Southern California might seem a strange spot for wildflowers, but the orange
California poppy is well suited for such hot desert environments. The plants bloom in the spring and then go
dormant in the heat of summer, allowing their tops to die off and surviving underground as a taproot.

The desert environment prevents the over growth of tall grasses, allowing the knee high poppies to display  
their beauty and color.
The NASA aerial views of spectacular superbloom and solar panel farms in Antelope Valley can be seen here.
A whole new world of visual stimulation and joy for the outdoors. Flower chasers have trained their eyes to
pick out details that would otherwise go unnoticed.
擁抱大自然,擁抱這野花渲染出來的繽紛吧,彩虹飛舞, 到處是攝影愛好者。
天使般的加州罌粟花,花色鮮豔,貴為美國加利福尼亞州的州花。
野花透過鏡頭,它的美麗,放大了、加倍了,也更純淨、更惹人愛。
怒放的金黃野花, 妖嬌嫵媚,繽紛燦爛,爭相展妍,熱鬧滾滾,野花紅欲燃, 令人讚
嘆。
More of the wind farm as viewed from my compact super-zoom camera.
On April 8, 2019, Amazon, the online retail giant, announced that Amazon will buy 47 megawatts of electricity
generated from one of the wind turbine farms on the Tehachapi Mountain in Southern California. The project
was among three wind farms, Amazon said will help its cloud-computing subsidiary, Amazon Web Services
(AWS), run on nothing but clean renewable energy someday.  The other two clean renewable electric
generation facilities supported by Amazon in this announcement are in Ireland and in Sweden.

The goal of Amazon is to power all AWS global infrastructure with clean renewable energy. Amazon said it
has "enabled" 53 wind and solar power projects around the world producing more than 1,016 megawatts of
energy.

It is noted that on Friday, Feb. 7, 2015, Google signed an agreement to buy electric power from the  
modernized giant wind turbine farm on Altamont Pass just east of Livermore, California. That will help provide
electricity to the Googleplex office complex and the company's data centers in Mountain View, California.

It is very nice to see that these forward looking giant companies are supporting wind turbine farms and solar
panel farms to generate clean renewal electric power.