Seeking Sweet Peas, and Lots of ‘Em, in Lompoc

June is quite the flowery time in the flower-growing area.

WHAT DO MARS AND SWEET PEAS... have in common? We'll be glad to pause here and tap our chin in deep thought. Mars is a planet and a sweet pea is... a... plant's flower? Mars is famously red and sweet peas can... be... sort of red, but also pink and a host of other hues? Mars is very far from us, and, to our eyes, quite high in the sky, and the sweet pea is... climbs up, toward the sky? Hmm. We'll stop the chin-tapping and move forward in the knowledge that Mars and sweet peas don't have too much in common, save one historic and lovely-to-visit place: Lompoc. If you were following the space news earlier in the spring of 2018, you saw that the airport in the mural-pretty town served as the spot to watch the launch of InSight Mission, which zoomed up, up, up from nearby Vandenberg Air Force Base. The lander will peek below the surface of the Red Planet, making it quite the exciting foray, indeed. But a different sort of gentle thrill, one that's terrestrial in nature, is now happening around the Santa Barbara County city, and it involves the...

FLOWER FIELDS, which Lompoc is famous for, oh yes. Sweet peas and larkspur and Queen Anne's lace and sunflowers and a spray of spectacular blossoms grow well around the area, and June is known as a peak time to peek at all of that robust petal-o-sity. Also? There's the annual Flower Festival, a Lompoc tradition which springs up, with community cheer, from June 20 through 24 in 2018. Keep in mind that the flower fields of Lompoc can burst, or not burst, from April to September, though June has been known to deliver on the ohs/ahs front. You might want to research a bit first, before going Lompoc, to see if your favorite flower is doing its thing at the moment. More info? You got it. As for seeing sweet peas on Mars? Maybe one day, down the road a spell, such a fanciful notion could happen, but for now we earthlings can gaze up and dream interplanetary dreams, then gaze down, at the ground, for signs of fragrant petals opening to the sun, the very same sun we share with Mars.

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