I sometimes have to travel to California’s Central Valley region, an agricultural area that’s not easy to get to. I usually find myself flying into Los Angeles and driving north over the mountains.
During my most recent trip, though, I found myself thinking that something didn’t seem quite right. It wasn’t until I found myself driving down into the valley that I realized what it was.
Everything was green. In fact, the Golden State has received so much rain lately, that it has caused a super bloom of wildflowers so vibrant that satellites can see them from space.
According to KLTA, wildflowers regularly bloom in abundance in Southern California. They paint the hills predominantly in shades of yellow and orange.
They also draw visitors who are excited to see the beauty of creation on full display, but it’s not just the flowers that draw them.
Painted lady butterflies swarm throughout the bloom in amazing numbers. These insects prove every bit as breathtaking as the petals themselves.
Dr. Art Shapiro of the University of California, Davis estimated that, at the most active point of their migration, these butterflies can zip by at a rate of one per second.
Of course, the astounding beauty of the bloom has led to a massive influx of visitors, and those visitors had begun to cause problems.
Snarled traffic jams. Blocked toilets. Flowers crushed by careless feet. The side effects have been anything but pleasant.
The Associated Press reported that those icky externalities have led the town of Lake Elsinore, California, to institute some restrictions. For instance, visitors can no longer park on the street.
Instead, they’ll need to purchase special parking passes. Then they’ll need to hop on a shuttle to go see the flowers.
That might sound a little restrictive, but there are good reasons for implementing those safeguards.
Approximately 150,000 people swarmed the small town in a single March weekend.
Congestion got so bad that people began to faint from the heat prior to making it back to their vehicles. The roads became impassible.
Of course, you don’t have to travel to the area to enjoy the bloom. A satellite snapped pictures of the area on March 19.
Have you ever seen the way that rust filigrees a pitted piece of metal?
Well, the photographs look a little like that, only the hills and ridges seemed rimmed with colors far more vibrant than those produced by iron oxide.
It’s a true reminder of the jaw-dropping grandeur of the world. The heavens declare the glory of God — and so does the soil beneath our feet.
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