Instagrammers trample flowers in doc short: We’re going for Hunger Games realness

The Golden Poppy is the California State Flower. Growing up, my mother told us it was illegal to touch a poppy. That’s not exactly true, my mom embellished a lot to keep us in line. So, like most Californians raised under hyperbolic mothers, I am pretty precious about our poppies. This year is an amazing year for wildflowers. The Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve (AVCPA) is currently in the middle of a super bloom, which means the hillsides are blanketed with vibrant poppies. Super blooms don’t happen every year, sometimes we’ll only get one in a decade. It’s a stunning spectacle. AVCPR is about an hour and a half outside of Los Angeles. So it’s close enough for folks in LA to escape and soak in the beauty of the natural world. Unfortunately, it’s also within reach of social media influencers to exploit and destroy for the purpose of gaining likes. Vice News posted a four-minute documentary on how Instagrammers are flocking to the fields but blatantly disregarding the park’s rules to get the perfect IG shot. But the best part is their denunciation of the others doing the exact same thing because clearly they don’t respect the poppies!

Some of the comments from the Instagrammers in the video are priceless:

Vladonna Rose: The look that we’re going for is, like, Hunger Games realness almost, you know?

Edda Manriquez: Uhm, so, I was kind of going for a fairy-esque, ‘90s grunge, cloud person

Dana White: So, we came out her because I wanted to get into doing more stuff that was outdoorsy in LA because being downtown LA, you don’t do that as much.

Breyona: Kind of like the photos of being one with the earth and kind of being more natural kind of blending in almost like seemingly like you’re coming out of the ground with the flowers

Emma Dewing: Everyone from LA is taking these Instagram shots so that kind of like, made me a little bit cringey about the idea of taking photos but then I’m looking at the flowers and am like, they’re so pretty, I should put on a dress and be like everyone else!

Jenny: I’ve been, like, hopping around and am like, trying really hard to, like, step on the areas that don’t, that are kind of like sparse already

Breyona: Cuz it’s kind of sad to see a flower die under your foot

I was actually, maybe this is like neurotic of me, but I was thinking about the caption I was going to write as I was coming up here…

Breyona: Don’t step on the flowers!

Gillette Barton: I mean people have been generally on the trails or, like, walking on the paths. And we were very protective of where we put, like, any of our stuff because we don’t want to ruin it. But I just feel like people won’t, ultimately, be that respectful, though. Because they want to get the shot

Not that I don’t think Grungey Cloud People shouldn’t be shown in a natural light, but these people are so head-smackingly oblivious that it’s humorous, but it’s also not. Every poppy crushed will not grow back in that spot for some time, if at all. So we are showing our appreciation for experiencing this super bloom by literally stomping it out from happening again. And the folks responsible don’t quite seem to get it, even though the rules are posted on the AVCPA’s website, at the park and, as you saw in the doc, rangers are literally shouting them at people. Vice does a good job showing the hypocrisy by playing these comments of empty concern while the video shows each one actually crushing the poppies they claim to protect.

I appreciate the park trying to speak the locals language by coming up with their own hashtag. #DontDoomtheBloom is catchy, but clearly not as effective as they’d hope. Since I don’t work for the state and am not obligated to be entirely truthful, I have a different idea, one my mother would approve of. At the mouth of the trail, slap a photo of a big ol’ Diamondback rattlesnake, preferably sunning itself naked in the poppy field and in giant letters below put the hashtag: #RattlersLovePoppiesEvenMorethanYou. There’s your Hunger Games vibe, y’all.

Thanks to OMG Blog for posting this video




OMG, so much nature, you guys!

Photo credit: Vice News and Instagram. Thanks to OMG Blog for the tip!

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41 Responses to “Instagrammers trample flowers in doc short: We’re going for Hunger Games realness”

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  1. Jerusha says:

    Because they are so, like, you know, stupid.

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      Yeah like totally like stupid.

      I really loathe the way some people use the word ‘like’ as every 2nd word they speak – its doesn’t make you look cool/edgy/creative, it just makes you look stupid with your clearly very limited vocab. I have lots count of the number of times i have overheard conversations like this – it made my ears bleed.

      • Rapunzel says:

        Digital Unicorn- are you Californian? This is a common idiosyncrasy of CA oral speech. It’s got nothing to do with intelligence or vocab. Frankly, I find it offensive to criticize people over a difficult to fight/change speech pattern.

        Source: lifelong Ca resident.

      • Digital Unicorn says:

        @rapunzel – No am British and I hear this almost every day in and around London where I live by British people. It is not normal speech behaviour for us Brits.

        I had no idea its considered normal in Cal, my apologise if I offended but its not normal where I am.

      • Rapunzel says:

        DU- no worries. I thought you were a Brit. I get how it’s weird sounding. But honestly, it’s common CA valley girl talk. Certainly not everyone has this pattern, but it’s common enough in CA.

        I myself am educated and teach English, and I struggle to fight this ingrained pattern. So I’m kind of sensitive.

        Had no idea it was getting common in the UK though.

      • Coco says:

        Lifelong NorCal here and it is a struggle not to lean on the word like. It’s the way it is!

        We were planning on making the trip to see the super bloom over spring break, I’ve been dying to see one for years, but decided against it for several reasons. The major one being I’m seven months pregnant and it’s quite the drive. But deep down I’m so disgusted by those trampling the flowers that I don’t want any part of it. I can enjoy pictures online and see see our limited wildflower blooms up here. It’s been a disappointing year with people trashing National Parks during the shutdown and now ignoring the adamant requests to stay on paths and not step on the flowers. If anything, it reinforces that large populations need lots of governance and oversight because we suck and many refuse to follow directions to protect wildlife, others, even themselves! It’s disheartening to say the least.

        Also, we were told it was illegal to touch a poppy too while growing up!

      • Digital Unicorn says:

        @Rapunzel – Thank you. We have a reality TV show called The Only Way Is Essex (TOWIE) and almost all of the cast members speak using this pattern and its a very very popular show thats been running for several years so I think its seeping into common usage via that.

        It is weird to the ear – I have interviewed many people who speak like that and its really hard to follow what they say but I guess that’s cause am not used to hearing it.

        I love California and have been several times, it has so much natural beauty and its a shame to see that damaged in this way. Those bloom fields are stunning.

    • CA Family Code says:

      Thank you Rapunzel! I am born in Long Beach, raised in OC and spent most of my life in LA. I hear from people all of the time about my speech pattern, but they’re usually from the east coast or Europe. I try to explain the same thing. I guess it can be called a sociolect. I have it and have had my whole life although I do try to curb it. My daughter is in a public speaking class right now that explains it far better than I can. It did not originate from the Valley (e.g., the song Valley Girl by Moon Zappa) nor is it me trying to speak like a Kardashian. I was born in the 60s.

      • AMAyson1977 says:

        Regardless of it’s provenance, it is an annoying verbal tic and does nothing to reinforce that the speaker is thoughtful or intelligent. Before I am piled on, I live in Texas where we have invented dozens of unique and ridiculous ways to sound stupid when speaking, and I do my best to avoid them all and teach my children the same. “Y’all” is acceptable in casual speech, but I don’t say it in anything but an informal setting. Reliance on the word “like” as a verbal crutch can be reduced or eliminated, but it takes focus and a willingness to change. If you’re not willing or able to make the change, then be aware that some people will perceive your speech pattern negatively.

  2. Skyblue says:

    I watched the video and now hate even more people. Good grief.

    • smcollins says:

      Same here. And I actually feel a little dumber, too. I swear I felt some brain cells kick the bucket as I was watching. 🤦🏻‍♀️

  3. Alissa says:

    I really, really wish this influencer thing would die out. it’s so mindnumbingly stupid.

    • ds says:

      I knooow! Sometimes I see an account that has more than 100k and I wonder how or why? It’s just a girl putting on duck face selfies. I just don’t get it. I’ll take memes over influencers every day.

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      There is a backlash esp with businesses over this whole influencer thing, it’s saturated as everyone sees it as a way to make easy money and get freebies. I recently read a story about an insta influencer sobbing on a YouTube video about how she’d have to get a job cause her instagram account was closed. Poor snowflake wasn’t going to get all the freebies she felt entitled to.

  4. Erinn says:

    People are stupid. I’m sure there are plenty of morons doing the same thing who aren’t even bothering with instagram.

    That said the funniest part of this is that one of the women has Gillette for a name. Must suck to be named after a razor. Which I understand isn’t the only use for the name but it’s by far the most recognizable.

  5. Suki says:

    This is how i felt last year visiting the La Jolla Cove where the sea lions hang out. There are roped off areas with signs clearly posted to not go past, not harass the animals and soooooo many people just completely ignore the signs and go way down the rocks to get the best shot. It is so infuriating to watch.

  6. NotHeidisGirl says:

    God, they sound so dumb.
    Every “influencer” (I hate this word so much) who posts a picture of themselves in the poppies should have to pay a hefty fine.
    (But I also like your suggestion with the rattlesnake @Hecate !)

  7. Victoria says:

    God I hate people, we can’t have anything nice!

  8. Nacho_friend says:

    Hire more park rangers then? And yes kids are dumb

  9. HerkermaHermolker says:

    I’ve always been told it was illegal to pick/touch California poppies, too. I’ve never questioned it and have always respected my home state flower. This horrifies me.

    • Anastasia says:

      I always heard it about bluebonnets here in TX (state flower). Turns out it’s not true, but I’m glad a lot of people believe it. It was Lady Bird Johnson (First Lady) who started the wildflower program in TX.

      • AMAyson1977 says:

        Me too, and I have my kids convinced of it too, lol! My little one is an unapologetic flower-picker, though, so she needs some embellishment or she’d pick a bouquet of them. We grew our own this year so she could enjoy them without picking, and that was acceptable to her. 🙂

      • launicaangelina says:

        Texan here and I also believed that it was against the law to pick bluebonnets.

        It makes me sad that people don’t respect the flower fields.

  10. Esmom says:

    Wow, I hadn’t seen the images of the fields, stunning. And I have to say I was relieved that people aren’t maliciously going in and trampling large swaths of flowers, which is what I thought was happening based on the headline! But still, it’s infuriating.

    I often hike in a state park and people are constantly going off the trails and harming the fragile ecosystems. Park rangers continually put up fences to block the “rogue” trails that have formed but it doesn’t help much when people ignore them. It’s terrible.

    On the flip side, I once got lost on a trail that was poorly marked and trying to find my way back I realized I was on an old trail that was growing over. I was scared, panicked almost, the whole time I was on it, thinking a ranger was going to pop out and bust me for going off the designated trail. I guess I’m a rule follower at heart, lol.

  11. Arpeggi says:

    And this is why we can’t have nice things.

    Humanity probably doesn’t deserve to be saved, we’re collectively too stupid

  12. ME says:

    These “influencers” need to stop. You can go on-line and see many people complaining about them. Like the ones who go to expensive ice cream shops, order the most expensive thing, take a pic, take one lick, and throw it in the trash ! So wasteful and disturbing.

  13. Jen says:

    The park should hand out tickets on site to anyone caught in areas they shouldn’t be. The fine should be thousands of dollars. That should stop a lot of these hoes from trampling flowers and ruining everyone’s lives in the process.

    Social media is ruining everything. 😐 Our world is becoming more gross by the second.

    • otaku fairy... says:

      This point would have been perfectly fine without the random misogyny.

      • ME says:

        She said “hoes” and you assumed she was talking about only women. Men can be “hoes” too. I don’t think the term should be gender specific at all.

      • otaku fairy... says:

        Fail. It’s one of many misogynistic slurs PRIMARILY used to dehumanize girls and women both inside the sex industry and outside of the sex industry based on patriarchal standards of sexual morality and respectability. The fact that some people sometimes make an effort to call men and boys those things too as an afterthought to shield themselves from criticism doesn’t change that or magically make it okay, any more than calling straight people fags and dykes magically makes that behavior not homophobic. Intent /= impact. #Misogynykills

  14. Acires says:

    My mom told me picking poppies was illegal too 😂
    I live in the arts district in Dtla where I have daily contact with basic influencers taking photos in front of the street art around. As I witness it, I feel embarrassed for them, it really is so lame.
    But at least they keep it on the streets, bringing it into the natural world infuriates me. As if we aren’t doing enough damage.

  15. CA Family Code says:

    Pigs. My brother lives in Lake Elsinore and not only were these “searchers of beauty” trampling and killing it, but people could not get where they were going on the roads because of the 10s of thousands of people showing up to trample this protected flower. They finally set up road blocks and closed roads.

    I remember I used to worry about not having enough pics of my kids growing up…now people have so many pictures of themselves it is a societal sickness and obsession to document on film their every contrived moronic move.

  16. pantanlones en fuego says:

    I hate it all.

  17. HeyThere! says:

    This is why we can’t have nice things!!! Stay on the trail! Ugh. What a waste of nature’s beauty by trampling it out. Oh, the irony.

    As a side note, I do not understand how people ignore this lady telling them not to go out there?! I would not step a foot off the trail out of respect for the rule protecting the flowers.

  18. EscapedConvent says:

    OMG, that video is depressing. They sound like idiots. Their obliviousness to what they’re doing is so discouraging. Yes, there should be massive fines.

    Sometimes I think if you really consider how dumb lots of people are, you will just stay in your house.

  19. Reece says:

    My brain hurts listening to these people.

  20. Sportlady20 says:

    From someone who lives & grew up on the Oregon coast, I’m with you. Though people fall of our cliff & die, there are signs & everything as well as a fence. However every year tourists climb over the fence & fall & cost a lot of money to save. I have so many stories.
    Simple rules, please leave places better than you found them, follow the signs & take your trash with you.

  21. buckley says:

    There was also that couple of a-holes who landed a helicopter right on the field. They took off before Rangers could get at them.

  22. Rhubarb says:

    I visited AVCPA over the weekend. The number of people I heard saying, “Well, they just took a picture there” when a ranger confronted them was astounding. Just because someone else did it doesn’t make it okay.

    There’s a great IG account – @joshuatreehatesyou – that, after trying to educate via commenting and DMs, is sharing IG posts from “influencers” like these in the hopes folks might be persuaded to take down the photos. The did a huge push on the Miley Joshua Tree posts too.