Our trips out here can be summed up into 3 typical scenarios: 1) we were awed by the awesome visage of the stunning orange hues carpeting the hillsides and had an amazing time soaking in the vistas; 2) we were confused when we saw no poppies whatsoever blooming on the reserve itself, but saw acres of them blooming just across the road - wtf? 3) we were embarrassed because we dragged our city slicker friends miles out to the middle of nowhere (at least in their minds) to see the fantastic blooms, and we found only one - just ONE freakin' poppy next to the picnic table...better than none, I suppose.
Anyhoo, lesson learned is that you should always check the local wildflower hotlines and/or call the reserve on the status of the poppy blooms before driving all the way out there just to be disappointed by a meh season. You should also check the weather report, as the poppies won't open up if it's cloudy and/or really windy.
4/13/96 This was scenario #3, with nary a poppy in sight...Alison & baby Catherine, me & EE.
4/13/96 EE, hovering over the only poppy visible in the discernible distance.
4/13/96 EE, none to pleased about the generally poppyless experience.
4/13/96 Me, Alison, EE, Arnold & Catherine, enjoying ourselves, despite the lack of poppies.