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California ‘super bloom’ from space: See dramatic before-and-after satellite photos

A Moment of Zen with California Wildflowers

Wildflowers in Knights Ferry and along Red Hills Road south of Chinese Camp. (Marijke Rowland/mrowland@modbee.com)
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Wildflowers in Knights Ferry and along Red Hills Road south of Chinese Camp. (Marijke Rowland/mrowland@modbee.com)

Everyone has seen wildflowers. But have you ever seen them bloom from space?

California is projecting its beauty to the satellites of Planet, a company founded in 2010 by a team of ex-NASA scientists whose mission is to “image the entire Earth every day,” according to its website.

Their striking imagery shows a stark contrast of the landscape from December to the end of March with the “super bloom” in effect. Can you spot the poppies?

Carrizo Plain National Monument in San Luis Obispo

THEN: Dec. 3, 2016

Carrizo Plain_befor
Satellite image of the Carrizo Plain National Monument on Dec. 3, 2016. Planet, KQED

NOW: March 31, 2017

Carrizo Plain_after
Satellite image of the Carrizo Plain National Monument on March 31, 2017. Planet, KQED

Los Padres National Forest in Santa Barbara

THEN: Dec. 3, 2016

Los-Padres National forest-before
Satellite image of Los Padres National Forest on Dec. 3, 2016. Planet, KQED

NOW: March 27, 2017

Los-Padres National forestafter
Satellite image of Los Padres National Forest on March 27, 2016. Planet, KQED

While Southern California is experiencing what is being called the biggest wildflower bloom in years, naturalists predicted Northern California’s wildflowers would be peaking soon.

If the view from space isn’t good enough for you, here are several places in the Sacramento region where you can take some pictures of your own:

flowermap

1. In eastern Sacramento County, the hills along Jackson Highway.

2. Jepson Prairie, off Highway 113 near Dixon. The Solano Land Trust hosts tours here every Saturday and Sunday at 10 a.m. through May 14.

3. North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve near Oroville, though it can get crowded.

4. Railtown 1897 State Historic Park (10501 Reservoir Road, Jamestown), in the foothills east of Stockton, has a “Wildflower Train” departing at 3 p.m. on April 15 with park naturalists and rangers pointing out the different flowers in bloom. Tickets cost $20 for adults and $14 for children ages 6 to 17 and can be purchased at www.railtown1897.org.

5. South Yuba River State Park (17660 Pleasant Valley Road, Penn Valley) offers wildflower walks at 11 a.m. every Saturday and Sunday through May 14.

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