I drove up Ortega Highway yesterday for reasons I’ll tell you about someday, but I missed my exit and ended up driving nearly out to Lake Elsinore. As you may know, Lake Elsinore is the site of our latest superbloom, which created traffic jams 20 miles long over the weekend. I had no intention of going anywhere near it—and no interest in the superbloom anyway—so I was taken by surprise when I looked out my window and suddenly got a look at it.

I’m here to tell you that it was breathtaking. I was about 2,000 feet up and a few miles away, and the view was just stunning. As a camera guy I rarely say this, but pictures don’t do it justice. In real life it’s far more impressive than any pictures I’ve seen.

Needless to say, this didn’t stop me from taking lots of pictures anyway. In fact, I took so many that I’m going to share no fewer than five superbloom pictures with you today. First off, here’s a wide panorama of the entire vista from the Ortega Highway:

March 18, 2019 — Lake Elsinore, California

Panoramic shots don’t work too well in the limited space of this blog, so here’s another one that’s been cropped more tightly:

March 18, 2019 — Lake Elsinore, California

Here’s a closeup—which is to say, a telephoto shot of the hillside:

March 18, 2019 — Lake Elsinore, California

Here’s another closeup of a hillside covered not just in golden poppies, but also some kind of yellow plant. Maybe mustard?

March 18, 2019 — Lake Elsinore, California

Finally, here’s my favorite, a shot of the superbloom with some snowy peaks in the background:

March 18, 2019 — Lake Elsinore, California

This is almost certainly not the superbloom at its photographic best, since these pictures were taken when the sun was high in the sky. I’m tempted to go back later this week in the early morning, but I suspect I won’t get around to it.

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