One day we joined some friends and drove two hours to a California Poppy Preserve. When we got there, we should have known something was up when we asked the ranger at the toll booth where exactly the poppies were and he gestured to a small patch of poppies in the parking lot and said, “Ma’am, that’s about as good as it gets.” Undaunted, we trudged up to the top of the hill expecting a valley of golden poppies to be spread out on the other side. We soon discovered that, in fact, there were more poppies in the parking lot! We all had a good laugh. Whenever I see California poppies now, I think of that trip.