Monday, April 28, 2008

The Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve

So a couple years ago, my mother decided on a whim that she wanted to 'see the poppies'. I am a bad Californian, because I had no idea that every year an entire valley blooms with little gold flowers, blanketing it with a 'field of gold'. I am, however, used to my mother's whims, and so we all dutifully got in the car, and drove two hours to Lancaster to 'see the poppies'. During the ride, I got really really bored, and started skimming through my sidekick to see what I could find out about this flower that my mother apparently had to see.

I discovered a lot of information about the poppy, the most important being? It was out of season. I told my mother, who did not believe me, and an hour later we were standing on a desolate piece of desert with nary a poppy in sight. We did see one, fragile little thing valiently standing up against the dirty and the weeds, but other than that? It was quite a pathetic sight.

Thanks to that little adventure, and because we couldn't resist a chance to tease, every once in a while we joke to my mother about going to 'see the poppies'. She tells us in a nice way to fuck off.

This year, however, I got wind that not only were the poppies in season, but there were a lot of them. I decided, since my sisters were out of town and my dad was working, that I should take her to 'see the poppies'.

So, Mom loaded up 'Tom-tom', her new GPS toy, and punched in the Antelope Valley Reserve coordinates, and off we went. Tom-Tom, apparently, has a thing for scenery, because he took us through Valencia and them some kind of weird horsetown, and then by a lake, and then, I kid you not, off-roading. This dirt covered road that Tom-Tom told us to take. We were confused, but we got there pretty early. The view was gorgeous, the fields were littered with poppies and everywhere we looked there were little crickets bouncing around, and butterflies perched on all the pretty flowers. There were a TON of caterpillars on the trail, inching their way to the other side in this really dangerous high traffic area. After seeing so many smooshed, I started leaning down and plucking each and every one I could, placing them safely out of harm's way. At first people would look at me strangely, until they saw what I was doing, and I heard an excited, "We're not the only ones doing it!" Yes, apparently saving the caterpillars from a smooshed fate was a join effort. Good for us.

The Anetelope Valley Poppy Reserve

On the way home, however, Mom decided to be contrary and not follow Tom-Tom's lead. It was surprisingly tough for her to do. She pointed out that if we go the other way (i.e. NOT off-roading) we could take the freeway. But she kept going 'But Tom-Tom says... But Tom-Tom says..."

I finally erupted, "Mom, TOM-TOM is a gadget! You do not have to do every damned thing Tom-Tom says!"

Thank God. We ended our trip at Marie Callendars and took home a pie.

Take that, Tom-Tom.

More pictures here, if you're interested.

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