March 8, 2021
Well, it is still COVID season. All my scheduled trips abroad to new and exotic places have been falling by the wayside, one-by-one, like dominoes. So, I continue to search for new things to do and see locally, and places to practice my photography with my new Olympus Om D Em1 Mark III. One of the trips cancelled was to see the tulips blooming in Amsterdam. So, my friend Debbie K (who was going to join me on that trip) and I headed just up the road to the Flower Fields in Carlsbad. For those of you following my blog, this one is a short one with more pictures than words.
The Flower Fields are only open part of the year, from March to May. But during that time, the hills are covered with blooming ranunculus flowers in the colors of the rainbow. In the olden days when we would drive up to LA every week, we would pass these vibrant, multicolored fields, always admiring from afar. We did visit once many years ago with my mother but have not been back in over 10 years. So it was time.
We ordered our tickets online (the new COVID way). We arrived a bit before 9:00am, when they open, donned our masks and headed into the hills. We were just two of a handful of people there at that hour.
The Flower Fields
The 50 acres of Giant Tecolote Ranunculus flowers are considered one of the most spectacular displays of color and nature’s beauty in the world, at least for the 6-8 weeks each year that they bloom. And when we read that the fields are open, we know Spring is around the corner. Better than the groundhog.
Tractors and Wagons
In addition to working trucks and tractors, the fields have old, rusty tracktors here and there which add to the rustic feeling. I particularly loved the big yellow wheels on the working tractors. There are also wagon rides in big yellow or green wagons for those people who have difficulty walking or just don’t feel like trekking up and down the little hills.
Giant Tecolote Ranunculus
It is the Giant Tecolote Ranunculus that is primarily grown here, although there are a few acres of other flowers and of blueberries that you can pick. The ranunculus flower is native to Asia Minor and is a member of the buttercup family, thus it is also called the Persian Buttercup or Ranunculus Asiatic.
What happens to all those flowers?
We wondered what happens to the flowers. We saw workers picking some that hadn’t quite opened yet and collect them into bunches, likely to sell them in the shop. But what about the rest of the flowers? The flowers die back and produce seed for re-planting in these same fields for the next season. By allowing the plant to complete its life cycle, a more superior bulb crop is produced the next year.
The peak season is usually April, so we were a bit early and only some of the fields were blooming. But there were enough flowers in all the colors for us to enjoy walking around and taking pictures, trying to be creative (you can let me know if I succeeded. And remember to click on the pictures to make them bigger).
Can’t forget it’s COVID
And this is what we saw on the way out. See! Everyone has to wear a mask.