• Satellite images show a blooming California poppy field in bright orange
  • The flowers are blooming for longer than usual because of the recent rains
  • The park also has other flowers apart from poppies

Satellite images of the California landscape showed bright orange poppy fields blooming in the spring. The "unexpected" bloom this year was due to the recent rains.

The Operational Land Imager on NASA and the United States Geological Service’s Landsat 8 satellite recently caught the bright colors of the blooming poppy fields in California. The images, which were taken April 14, showed the vast poppy fields in bright orange when they were either at or near their peak.

In one image, a bright orange patch can be seen beside Lancaster.

Image: Satellite image of California from April 14, 2020. Landsat 8/NASA Earth Observatory

In the close-up image of the field, bright orange patches can be seen all over the landscape, while a nearby solar farm can also be seen in the top left corner of the image.

California Poppy Field
Image: California poppy fields in bloom, as captured by the Landsat 8 satellite. Landsat 8/NASA Earth Observatory

Park officials described the bloom as "unexpected," and the NASA Earth Observatory explained the poppies might be staying longer than the usual because they received extra rain in March and April. In fact, Southern California received rain that is four inches above normal.

Although most parks across the U.S. are closed because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve provided a video of the bloom wherein State Park Interpreter Jean Rhyne showed the flowers blooming in the park April 11.

"This is the poppy reserve but we have a lot of different flowers," Rhyne said, also explaining that the park sometimes does not get poppies as well if the conditions are not right. "We never really know what the year is going to bring."

Apart from the poppies, Rhyne also showed the diversity of flower species at the park, which includes tiny forget-me-nots, purple bush lupines and cream cups. In satellite images, however, the poppies are much easier to spot because of their bright orange color.

"People come here for poppies but there's definitely a lot more to appreciate," Rhyne said.

According to Rhyne, the bloom this year can be described as moderate or "better than moderate," noting the reserve is doing better than they has anticipated.

Even if most people still have to stay home due to the coronavirus restrictions, anyone can still watch the fields via the reserve's online livestream.