Springtime arrives with a lot of major "opening days" and important firsts, from the opening day that occurs on baseball diamonds across the country to the first brighter, lighter day of Daylight Saving Time.
March 1, at least at a few Southern California destinations, is also an opening day, one that takes into consideration that winter is wrapping, the weather is warming, and we'll soon have some hue-intense, petal-pretty shows.
That's the big day when both The Flower Fields in Carlsbad and the Jane S. Pinheiro Interpretative Center at the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve throw the proverbial doors wide and welcome blossom-seeking visitors.
What to do, where to go and what to see
Both share the same closing date, too: Mother's Day 2017, or Sunday, May 14.
A few things to note on this, a day that traditionally heralds spring's near-start in Southern California: The poppies and other wildflowers found at the Lancaster-close reserve are on their own schedule, and grow where and when and how they will, while the ranunculus buds of The Flower Fields are cultivated in more traditional ways.
Still, timing is key at both locations, and, as of March 1, the showy, spread-out blooms are not happening quite yet at either spot. After all, spring is officially a few weeks out (March 20 is the first day in 2017).
But blooms will happen, in the weeks ahead, though when it comes to the poppies, there is still a question as to what sort of display 2017 will bring ("a moderate poppy bloom at best" is the prediction on the reserve's Facebook page).
But there is green showing in the hills of the Antelope Valley, which means that orange should soon follow.
As for the ranunculus of Carlsbad? Following The Flower Fields on social media will keep you in the loop as far as the get-here-now peak bloom moments go.
As for what's happening in Death Valley National Park, wildflower-wise? Petals are beginning to peek out, but, again, a super-bloom is not predicted. And the daffodils and lupines of California's higher elevations are still weeks out, showing well into May and June.