Let’s all Enjoy the Super Bloom Like Adults and Leave No Trace

Something insane has happened in southern California and people are losing their minds, their sanity and their common sense. It rained. Yes, its called winter weather. People please calm down. There is really no need to panic. In the last few weeks, California’s drought may be over. What fantastic news but it is erasing people’s common sense! A few weeks back, one subtropical storm system produced a crazy twelve inches of rain in some areas. Those of us living in drought-tolerant Southern California are loving this actual weather and the green rolling hills of southern California. All this rain has brought out the wildflowers, and yes, unfortunately, the city-iots (Urban dictionary definition; An Idiot from the city that does stupid city things in rural areas) because everyone wants to take a selfie with a poppy, right?

Last week I braved the worst of the congested freeways California has to offer and faced the ridiculous traffic on the 215 Freeway through the Corona crawl to take a few photos of the poppy fields near Lake Elsinore with my sister-in-law. No poppies were harmed in this early morning family bonding hiking adventure.

The super bloom is so trendy right now in southern California. I got up at five thirty in the morning, chugged some coffee and drove two hours through the concrete jungle to take a few photos of the kind of wildflowers we have not seen in years.

Not only did I pack my good camera and some water for the hike, but I also brought plastic garbage bags and gloves. I expected trash, dirty diapers and God knows what else in the poppy fields because some humans do not have the smarts. Like all the ones pulling over on the shoulder of a busy interstate, dragging their kids and dogs out of the car to take a family photo on the side of a busy freeway. Did I mention on the side of a busy freeway?

This is why we can’t have nice things! Like nature!

Let’s talk about Leave No Trace. It’s a simple concept really. Don’t trash the forest. Don’t walk off the path into the poppy fields smashing the flowers to take a selfie with your dog. Don’t lie on the flowers in the beautiful flower fields because you just had to make that Instagram post. I love hiking with my pup and I take her everywhere but I specifically left her at home on this hike, as I didn’t want to deal with her on the trail up into the poppy fields and worrying that she was sticking to the trail and not pooping in the poppy fields. Also please don’t poop in the poppy fields.

Please don’t poo in the poppy fields should be rule number one… Or two…

super bloom
This is how you should walk on a trail…

I wish I didn’t have to act like this is walking in nature for dummies but when thousands of visitors see a pretty thing on the side of an extremely busy interstate shit can get crazy. I feel like living in this concrete jungle of Southern California, I may just be surrounded by the stupidest people on earth. I mean, I hike sections of the John Muir Trail in the eastern Sierras each summer and run into hikers from the east coast and they are friendly, smart and understand, pack it in, pack it out. But yet here in southern California I have to constantly remind people nature is not a big ass toilet and this is not Wilderness Disneyland; No one is going to walk up behind you and pick up your Starbuck’s cup and Mcdonald’s bag you just threw out in the poppy field!

Does this look like a nice place to poo? It’s not!

Don’t be a dumb dumb


Wondering how to have a great spring day trekking through the Super Bloom? Just remember to stay on trails, don’t smash the flowers, pick the flowers or let your kids eat the flowers. Pick up your trash, pack out your poo and try really hard to be a responsible adult! We are so blessed to be able to trek into these hills and experience these unbelievable colors in nature. Let’s leave nature how we found it!



  1. Obsessivemom

    First up, what gorgeous gorgeous pictures! And I do get your angst against city dwellers who think nothing of messing up Nature when that’s what they’ve come to admire all the way from the city. Not smart at all!

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  2. Ana Astri-O'Reilly

    The opening drew me in immediately. I also chuckled a bit: “It rained. Yes, its called winter weather. Please calm down”
    I’ve read about this phenomenon, wildflowers + Instagrammers, somewhere else. I see it’s not just influencers, it’s everyone!
    I also like the closing paragraph reminding people of good practices.

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      Amber Woodyard

      I LOVE the central coast so much! Wish I could get up there this spring, it must be amazing!

  3. Jennifer Mierisch

    I laughed at “city-ots” and “This is why we can’t have nice things! Like nature!” Oh, humans. Thanks for this look into the California super bloom. Great photos.

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      Amber Woodyard

      Thanks for the comment! So glad I got there when I did! The next weekend they had to shut down the entire area as it was mobbed by 50,000 people! Insane!

  4. LaissezFaire

    Love the pictures. They have an oil painting quality that I thought was interesting.
    The frustration oozing from the digital print had me nodding and laughing: Please don’t poop in the poppies.
    Even my kids pick up random trash when we go to a hiking trail. (now if I could only get them to do that in the house…)

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  5. Jessica

    Ha! Love it! When I was hiking in the Adirondacks last summer, I heard someone from out west complaining how small the mountains were on the east coast… queue eyeroll…
    But this piece was very nice and almost fit the optional prompt for this week… this could be a “how-to-do-something-that-should-be-common-sense”… You definitely had be giggling a few times!

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      Amber Woodyard

      I’ve heard the Adirondacks are so breathtaking! That is where my grandparents would vacation in the ’60s before they moved out to California. Thanks for stopping by!

  6. fairytales and fitness

    What a great post! So well written that it should be published in a tourism publication!
    We learned about littering in grade school and I am surprised that adults still do it. It should just be common sense, right? -M

    Thanks for linking up with us!

  7. Laurie

    Wow! Absolutely gorgeous. Thank you for the reminders in your last paragraph. They are good to read before viewing the wildflowers and for any hikes in natural areas.

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  9. Tracy Albiero

    I am on the opposite side of the country and heard about these blooms. People can be so crazy some times! Lets keep them lovely for generations to come! #trafficjam

  10. Shelbee on the Edge

    Amber, I couldn’t love this post more! “Don’t poop in the poppy fields.” Haha. It is super frustrating to see the negative effects that humans leave behind in the wilderness. We were just discussing this recently on a walk in the park how awful it is that there is so much trash just tossed into the woods. I literally cannot grasp the level of laziness required to chuck your garbage into the woods without a second thought. Take your shit and find a garbage can. It infuriates me to no end. On a happier note, these blooms and your photos are absolutely breathtaking! Thanks for sharing and linking up with me.


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