Visitors have been flocking in droves recently to the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve to view the hillsides and fields awash in a super bloom of bright orange poppies and yellow wildflowers.
But for those who wish to check out the expansive desert bloom from a different angle — or perhaps want to see its majestic beauty but avoid the large crowds altogether — NASA has released a series of stunning images showing the canopy of flowers from above.
The aerial photos were taken April 2 when pilot Glenn Graham of NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center, along with astronaut Rex Walehim, took to the skies above the poppy reserve in the center’s T-34 mission support aircraft, according to a NASA news release.
On Friday morning, the NASA center tweeted out several images from the excursion with the caption “super whoa.”
It was a sentiment echoed by the California State Parks, which retweeted the photos soon after.
“It’s a mesmerizing view of the bloom from the ground as well as from above!” the tweet read.
NASA and state park officials also took the opportunity to remind poppy reserve visitors to stay on designated trails, don’t pick or trample the flowers, leave dogs at home and, if possible, go during the week when it’s less crowded.
A post on the reserve’s Facebook page also warned people never to leave a dog unattended in a vehicle, a reminder that was forced because someone did just that near the poppy fields earlier in the week.
“You will be ticketed, and the dog will be removed from the car if it appears to be overheating or suffering in any way,” the post read. “There are many areas with poppies outside of the Reserve where you can walk your dog, and dogs are allowed to be walked in our parking lots.”
The poppy reserve is open daily from sunrise to sunset.