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Peak Southern California? Instagram Threatens Rare Super Bloom

You’ve seen the pictures on Instagram — you may have even taken some yourself. Unfortunately, that super bloom selfie may threaten the rare natural phenomenon.

Our planet is an incredibly resilient place in the face of the viral scourge that is human beings. As a human being, that first seemed a little harsh. We’re not that bad, are we? We’re certainly not great. From the plastic filled stomachs of whales to the millions of acres of felled forests in the name of toilet paper, we can definitely be better to the planet that is the sole reason we’re alive.

Still, nature is an astoundingly beautiful place and our planet has innumerable sights that leave us awestruck. So, naturally, we have to see them. We disrupt nature in so many ways it’s alarming. Take MicroGreens, for instance, the little baby plants that are no more than 1 to 1.5 inches tall. Rather than let them grow, we decided they’re delicious and make wonderful garnishes on our favorite dishes whilst out to dinner. Things like this aren’t uncommon in the name of human consumption. But, sometimes we consume in different ways.

Nature has been putting on a show for the world to see in California with a massive super bloom. If you’re unfamiliar with what a super bloom is, it’s when a ton of wildflowers bloom well beyond what’s usual. California’s Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is exactly that, a desert. This typically arid climate doesn’t usually see lots of flowers blooming, but given the wetter-than-usual winter, the park is exploding with flowers. The Satellite Database lists nearly 2,000 operational satellites currently orbiting Earth and, when we say exploding with flowers, we mean that you can see the super bloom from space via satellite images.

In 2014, some 8.2 million people visited the Hawaiian islands for vacations in paradise. This number has only grown over time and it’s not very hard to see why. The desert state park of southern California, however, isn’t exactly a booming tourist or vacation destination. That is until right now. It’s become so popular that it’s causing problems for the park, park personnel, and the health of the delicacy of nature so elegantly on display there.

“What’s happened in the last four or five days is extraordinary. We really haven’t had this kind of a bloom since 2005. The desert has really come alive,” said Kathy DeMunck, an assistant manager at the desert’s nature center.

But, if it’s not on social media, did it really happen? Of course not. That’s when the masses gathered. People were driving for miles around to get a chance to snap pictures with the super bloom. Park officials estimated that over the weekend more than 150,000 people had tramped through the park. The park enlisted the help of every staff member and even the California Highway Patrol, while they remarked on Facebook: “Our City is not made for Disneyland size crowds.”

Where posts with the hashtag #naturalhair numbered 554,048 at the beginning of 2017, the different iterations of #superbloom have been putting up serious numbers. Combine natural hair aesthetic with hundreds of acres of flowers and you have Insta glory.

“Wildflower-seekers slid and fell down the side of Walker Canyon that was never meant to be hiked on, though some managed to do so anyway — even in very chic wedge heels. Families and Instagram-influencer wannabes alike attempted feats of free-climbing and scrambling…” reported the Palm Springs Desert Sun.

All in the name of the ‘Gram. It was so crowded and the park was so overwhelmed that park officials decided to close for visitors. Complete with its own hashtag #PoppyShutdown the park was closed off. Still, where there’s a will, there’s a way. People would just park on interstate side roads and get to the flowers however they could. The park is a mountain, so it’s not exactly easy to fully monitor.

After they regathered their strength, the park quickly reopened. And while the California spring brings more rain, the desert will bring more blooms, and people will bring more of themselves to revel in the number of likes each picture taken will get them. /span>

Beautiful, isn’t it?


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