This year’s poppy superbloom is particularly spectacular, and has drawn visitors from across the region. Unfortunately, what should be a lovely experience, as strangers gather to take a moment from our hectic lives to appreciate the simple natural beauty of flowers, has turned into something really stressful. Hundreds of human beings are clambering about, crushing delicate plants, ruining not just the experience, but the eco system. If you are incapable of enjoying nature without destroying it, you should probably just stay home.
Here is a tip: Stay on the trails. The trails shouldn’t be too hard to find, they’re the dirt paths cut into the ground where there aren’t flowers. Those patches where cretins who have come before you have already smashed down the blossoms in order to create a patch for the perfect hard style are not trails. Just because they did it, doesn’t mean you should make it worse or encourage anybody else to either, so don’t go on those. This also applies to your dog. And your photographer.
Not to single out one particular group of people for extra shaming, but…OK, yeah, let’s do that. The parents who bring small children just to pose them for photos, allowing them to pull up poppies by their stems or crush the blossoms are just the actual worst. When you plonk your baby down in the middle of a bloom, letting them pick petals from the flowers around them, just so you can snap a cute photo for the family holiday card, you’re not just doing an immediate harm to the superbloom, you’re also instilling in that child the idea that this whole planet exists as a backdrop for the perpetual photoshoot that will be their life, rather than something to be respected and cared for. And that is how you get children who grow up to be influencers. Do you really want to be responsible for that?
But let’s also address the self-styled influencers, with their photo crews and lighting reflectors, and assorted hats and props. Unlike the toddlers, you’re grown adults and you should know better than to crouch down in the flowers or go stamping about with the skirt of your Free People sundress flowing behind you in the breeze. Also, it’s obviously too cold for that dress anyway. If you’re really an influencer, use that power for good. Use it to encourage your audience to celebrate nature in a respectful way that will allow for native plants to continue to grow and flourish. If you post photos where you even appear to be in the flower fields and off the trail (and based on observations at the site, the majority of you are, so don’t blame it all on Photoshop) you’re glamorizing the destruction of nature.
Sticking to the trail and not destroying the poppies isn’t just about obeying arbitrary rules. It’s about ensuring that this isn’t the last time this ever happens. When you pluck, cut, crush, or otherwise mangle a poppy flower, you’re risking that it may never return, cutting off a cycle of blossoming and rebirth that has been going on for years. Your content is not worth that. This is one situation where saying that taking a picture it will last longer should never be the case.