The California Super Bloom in Vintage Postcards


These past few years of drought in California have been pretty difficult. Now that we’ve had a winter of torrential rains and snow storms, what are we excited about? The Super Bloom!

When California has a wet winter, we look forward to our prairies and deserts filling with colorful wildflowers, and that is exactly what happened earlier this month.

Huge crowds flocked to super bloom locations such as Lake Elsinore.

Flower enthusiasts were despondent as the tourists crushed the flowers in order to get the perfect Instagram pic. Trails were temporarily closed down and new measures were taken to make sure tourists stay on the trails.

When I was a kid I used to wander through the mountains with my sister and look for the rarest of wildflowers to bring back to my grandma. She would put them in a cup with water in the middle of her dining table and treasure them for a day until they wilted.

I am sure most adults can remember doing something similar.

When we pick or crush these flowers, we lose entire ecosystems that support butterflies, bees, and other tiny creatures. The USDA has a website on the ethics and ecosystems of wildflower blooms and it is worth a quick read.

So, instead of traveling to the super bloom myself, I dug up a few vintage postcards showing California’s endless fields of flowers.

It turns out even tourists in the early 20th century wanted to send home pictures of this beautiful phenomenon.

Apparently “postcard or it didn’t happen” preceded Instagram by a century.

And, as you can see from the postcards, the inclination to pick bouquets and walk through the field of flowers (crushing some along the way) is not a new one.

(How we long to be Alice, laying in a field of flowers, just before she sees the white rabbit and falls down the rabbit-hole…)

This past week we have been redesigning and replacing a gray water system at our mountain home that just wasn’t working for us. While we were at Home Depot, my son spotted the colorful packets of wildflower seeds.

Now that the system is complete, I have an afternoon date with my five-year-old to plant some poppies around the new water source. Hopefully, we will have a super bloom of our own.

I encourage you to research flowers native to your area and plant some of your own!

If you live in Canada, Cheerio’s has a free seed program called “Bring Back the Bees,” you might want to check out.

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