Learning With: ‘Under the Influence of a “Super Bloom”’

Learning With: ‘Under the Influence of a “Super Bloom”’

Before reading the article:

Spring is here, and with it, in some places, the first wildflowers of the year, trees newly in bloom and other signs that winter has gone.

Have you observed any of these? What about on social media?

When you look at the image above, does it make you want to go to the place it was taken and see those flowers for yourself?

Now, read the article, “Under the Influence of a ‘Super Bloom,’” and answer the following questions:

1. Who is Steve Manos? What challenges do he and his fellow residents of Lake Elsinore, Calif., face? What is different about springtime there this year?

2. How did many of the recent visitors to Lake Elsinore find out about the poppy bloom? How have town officials responded to the influx of visitors and related incidents in which people were hurt? Were the new rules effective?

3. The article states, “Then came the backlash online.” What happened that constitutes this “backlash”?

4. How did people who live in and work at businesses in Lake Elsinore describe how daily life has been affected by the poppy bloom and all of the people who have come to see it?

5. What other places in California are experiencing the “super bloom”? Why is this year so spectacular for the abundance of poppies?

Finally, tell us more about what you think:

The article states:

But the poppies may be no match for the more destructive invasive species: the influencer who gets too close. “Poppies die quickly when they’re stepped on,” said Jean Rhyne, an interpreter for California State Parks. “Even when people walk between them, it crushes the roots,” she said, creating unofficial trails amid the flowers and encouraging more destructive foot traffic.

You read about the obstacles many people encountered on the way to see the poppy bloom: traffic jams, parking difficulties and crowds of people to navigate through. What do you think happens when people see others stepping off marked trails, entering the fields and even picking flowers? Are they likely to follow suit?

Do you think hardships encountered on the way to a popular place ever give rise to a feeling of entitlement, which in this case may mean feeling justified about breaking the rules? Do you have any examples that compare to what happened at Lake Elsinore? Explain.