Super Bloom 2019: Small Poppies Mean Big Headache For A California City More than 100,000 people descended on Lake Elsinore, Calif., over the weekend for a chance to frolic among the flowers. City officials strained to keep up.
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'Poppy Apocalypse': A California City Swarmed By Selfie Stick-Toting Tourists

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'Poppy Apocalypse': A California City Swarmed By Selfie Stick-Toting Tourists

'Poppy Apocalypse': A California City Swarmed By Selfie Stick-Toting Tourists

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MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

It has been spectacular in Lake Elsinore in California this season, and the town has been mobbed because of that beauty.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

The culprit is an abundance of orange and yellow poppies. They blanket the landscape as far as the eye can see.

KELLY: It is being called a super bloom brought on by rain. People have been coming by the thousands to bask in the bounty.

STEVE MANOS: The flowers have covered the entire mountain. And they're very vibrant this year, plentiful in ways that you just don't normally see.

CHANG: Elsinore Mayor Steve Manos says in his 32 years in town, he's never seen anything that compares to this year both in terms of flowering plants and number of visitors. Police estimate 100,000 people came to check out the super bloom on Sunday.

KELLY: Which has meant the fragile poppies are being crushed. People are lying down in the fields to get that perfect photo for social media. So Mayor Manos has issued a warning.

MANOS: Keep your dogs on leashes. Don't pick the poppies. Don't trample the poppies. Don't wade into the poppies. Don't roll around on the poppies. Don't slide down the poppies.

CHANG: He might add this. Do avoid rattlesnakes. One of them bit a man. Another bit a dog.

KELLY: Casey Schreiner - he's the founder of modernhiker.com - has been paying attention to the super bloom in Elsinore this season. Schreiner has a theory about why it's been so crazy.

CASEY SCHREINER: The first thing that's causing this increase in traffic is the word super bloom itself. You know, we used to just call it spring.

CHANG: To limit the damage, Schreiner has a hashtag he hopes will encourage people to respect the flowers.

KELLY: #NoWildflowersWereHarmed.

SCHREINER: We want people to use this when you are taking a photo of wildflowers and you didn't go off trail to get the image. You left the flowers in the habitat as you found them. You didn't damage any other trails or, like, use user trails or make your own stuff to get the image, and you're sharing the philosophy of native plants in your post, too.

CHANG: So take a visit and take a look and take those pictures. But please try not to destroy the very beauty you came to see.

(SOUNDBITE OF GOLDFRAPP'S SONG "BLACK CHERRY")

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