So, I feel like the Chamber of Commerce here, but really, if you like wildflowers, this is the year for you. The combination of good rain early in the season and ample sunshine in February has produced the most impressive display of color in several years. I'm going to share a few of these that we've taken here at the vineyard, which is impressive enough. The vistas on the rolling hills east of town are even more impressive, at least for their scale. I remember a trip that we were making to Utah nearly a decade ago when the wildflowers were in bloom off of Highway 46, and people were pulled haphazardly off the road just staring at the mesmerizing, hypnotic scenes. We have a link to some of these scenes at the end of the blog. But first, what we're seeing here at the winery, starting with this pretty purple flower that carpets any areas we didn't plant a cover crop, and peeks through even the taller growth like an ultraviolet wash behind an oil painting:
The mustard flowers are familiar to anyone who drives around the Central Coast in the springtime, but this year's growth is particularly lush:
The lupines are just beginning. In another few weeks, they will be swaying hypnotically to the spring breezes and covering the area with their thick perfume:
Some flowers you'd like to admire from afar, like the thistle, whose spines make it a nuisance in the vineyard. We've largely eliminated it from problematic spots, but along the fencelines it still shows off its deep purple, spiky blooms:
But the crown jewels of the wildflower season, of course, are the California poppies: our state flower. They are so plentiful, and so photogenic, that I have photos of them from nearly every day this month. I'll spare you the entire collection, but here are a few of my favorites:
If you're interested in knowing where to go, a good article in the San Luis Obispo Tribune yesterday has recommended routes and lots more photos. But come sooner than later. By June, this burst of color will have largely faded to the golds and deep greens of California summer.