Instagrammers are Destroying the Super Bloom for Likes

For the second time in two years, California has been #blessed with yet another super bloom. Unfortunately, the incredible beauty is in danger. The influx of tourists and Instagram influencers ignoring park rules and paths has turned the floral phenomenon into a “poppy nightmare.”

Above-average winter rainfall has led to a super bloom, an “explosion of wildflowers” across California’s deserts and canyons and an increase in butterflies. The natural phenomenon typically occurs only once every ten years, but nature saw fit to bless us with a second super bloom this decade, presumably not so humans could destroy it in the hopes of getting the perfect Instagram photo.

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What’s poppin?! #SuperBloom

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A #PoppyNightmare for Small California Towns

In 2017, approximately 200,000 people visited the region hoping to enjoy the beauty of nature, completely overwhelming some of the small communities in the area. One town—Borrego Springs, with a population of just 3,000—was so overrun with visitors that the town ran out of food, hotel rooms, gas and even money in the ATMs.

As plentiful winter rains predicted that, once again, a super bloom was likely to occur, the town tried to prepare and stocked up on supplies.

Still, many towns and parks are feeling the full weight of the tourist influx again this year. Life in Lake Elsinore came to a halt when 50,000 tourists flocked to the poppy fields nearby, nearly doubling the town’s population and creating hours-long traffic jams.

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Love to know this places with you

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“This weekend has been unbearable in Lake Elsinore,” the city wrote on social media, using the hashtag #poppynightmare. “We know it has been miserable and has caused unnecessary hardships for our entire community.”

The #poppynightmare got so bad the town had to close Walker Canyon, one of the most popular sights for poppy tourists.

Why the Super Bloom Hates Instagram

Tourists aren’t just overwhelming the town’s people and infrastructure, they’re ruining the very nature they came to enjoy. In an effort to get the perfect, poppy-filled photo, visitors are doing permanent damage to the landscape. People are ignoring park rules and regulations by allowing dogs to run off leashes into the poppies, walking into and laying on poppies themselves, or picking the flowers as souvenirs.

This kind of behavior can have a long-lasting impact on the parks. It’s very important not to leave the official, designated trails in these parks. Yes, even if you’re just stepping off the trail one foot in order to sit on a rock among the poppies, don’t do it. Walking off the trail doesn’t just crush the poppies that are there now, but can prevent future poppies from ever growing back.

Visitors may not think it’s that big of a deal to walk off the trail, but as more and more people walk in the same off-trail areas, those areas will become trampled and poppies will not be able to grow back.

That’s why it’s important to stick to the actual, designated trails in the parks and not just patches of dirt among poppies. Those dirt patches were probably created by people walking off the trails and were not there before. If we all keep walking into the poppies, there won’t be anymore poppies.

Not only that, but the trails are created for your own safety. The parks are filled with wildlife, including rattlesnakes, which are much harder to see when you’re walking through the flowers.

Many on Instagram have taken to commenting on or reposting photos visitors have taken which were clearly not taken on the designated paths. At least one account, @thesuperbloomhatesyou, was even created solely for this purpose. Whether or not the online shaming is effective, it has certainly gotten heated.

So what’s an Instagrammer to do?

If you visit one of the parks for the super bloom, stick to the trail. No exceptions.

If the photos you get from the trail aren’t Insta-worthy enough, don’t worry. Busy Phillips has set up a “poppy pop up” outside the studio of her TV show, so people can get their poppy fix without destroying nature.

Photo Credit: Getty Images


Beryl L
Beryl Ludwig15 days ago

Instagram is a stupid thing anyways. It writes up there with Facebook as far as I'm concerned. Like this like that don't like This Love This Love that old b*******

Beryl L
Beryl Ludwig15 days ago

Never leave the path.

Monica R
Monica R18 days ago

Egotistical idiots!

Cindy M. D
Cindy M. D19 days ago

Nature creates for beauty - NOT INSTAGRAM!!

Clare O'Beara
Clare O'Beara20 days ago

sadly there seems to be no shortage of low intellect people who don't understand or care that they are destroying nature.

Clare O'Beara
Clare O'Beara20 days ago

All fairly stupid. Don't use that site.

Lesa D
Lesa D20 days ago

get Busy!!!

thank you Lauren...

Jan S
Jan S20 days ago

this is what we're doing to the whole planet

Sandra Z
Sandra Z21 days ago

People: the scourge of the earth.

Thomas M
Thomas M21 days ago