CLOSING THE CAR DOOR... after your last last trip out to a valley or field or desert during the February-to-April run on wildflowers can be a sad, soft sound. You know it'll be several months before you're again chasing down rumors of ocotillo blooms or goldenrod, and summer's heat will make an vast carpet-type showings out of the question. But the wildflower scene isn't truly over in mid-April, or even late April, and the higher elevations will continue to see color right up to the start of summer (or even beyond). Still, though, there are spots around the lower lands that are having a poppy party, and we're not just talking about the California Poppy Festival in Lancaster on April 22 and 23. Look to Point Mugu State Park, near Oxnard, which not only has some orange-amazing action as of the middle of April but also Chocolate lilies, Blue dicks, and lupines, too. Camarillo Grove Park in Conejo Valley is sporting Indian paintbrush, and California fuchsia, as well as monkey flowers, and Mount McCoy Trail in Simi Valley blue skullcaps and mustard.
IF A BOAT TRIP IS IN YOUR FUTURE, across Santa Barbara Channel, count on spying more petals, should you call upon the Channel Islands National Park before too much more of spring passes by. Anacapa Island is experience "...a full bloom of the brightly colored coreopsis," as well as "delicate white mallow," a new flower to the area, per nature observers. As always, luck and timing are riding along with you on your wildflower adventures, but, should the weather be pretty and sunny, you should experience a grand day out, whatever flowers are found. Don't delay: April is about to enter its second half, and, soon, only the upper reaches of our mountain areas will be prime wildflower-finding spots, at least for this season.