California Is in Bloom Again

Spring has sprung in the Golden State.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been mesmerized by butter-yellow daffodils and golden poppies bobbing in the wind from front yards in San Francisco. A grassy meadow in Golden Gate Park has transformed into a carpet of tiny yellow and white flowers.

We don’t know if this year’s bloom will be quite as superb as last year’s, but many Californians hope that the heavy winter rains will lead to a wondrous spring show. The recent chilly weather has dampened the displays so far, The Los Angeles Times reports, but that could turn around in the next several weeks.

“I expect we’ll have a really nice wildflower year once it warms up,” Naomi Fraga, a botanist and the director of conservation programs at the California Botanic Garden, told the news outlet.

Whatever is to come, Californians already seem to be reveling in the blooms. Readers have been sending in some incredible photos from backyards in Los Angeles and the Bay Area, from Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and elsewhere. We’re sharing some of them today.

You can call a wildflower hotline to get weekly reports on the best flower viewing locations in Southern and Central California. California State Parks is also providing regular bloom updates, and KQED and The Oaklandside have lists of spots in the Bay Area.

When you’re out viewing wildflowers, remember to stay on marked paths and take any trash with you. Think about avoiding the busiest times, like the weekends, so it’ll be easier for you to avoid stepping on flowers as you navigate the crowds.

“We want to encourage folks to feel welcome, and to come out to the preserve to see this beautiful gift of biodiversity that we have,” Ryan McCauley, public affairs specialist at the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, told KQED. “But we also really want to encourage folks to be respectful.“

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The Burbank Public Library’s program PAWS for Reading is helping children improve their reading ability by combining the activity with animals, ABC 7 reports. The program, which started last year and meets twice a month, introduces the kids to therapy animals that support them while they read books aloud.

BARK therapy dogs and Pet Partners send volunteer teams to the library. One volunteer with Pet Partners, Marcy Ellenbogen, commented, “I’ve had kids say they can’t read and then once they sit for a few minutes with them, all their inhibitions go away.”

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