Cops, Instagram Models and Tourists

Photos by Anastasia Augustson

The Destruction of the Walker Canyon Poppy Field for the Sake of Selfish Instagram Selfies

Lake Elsinore County shut down Walker Canyon Poppy Fields late  last  month due to several complications including tourists stopping on the side of the freeway, lack of parking and people risking their lives for that great Instagram selfie while simultaneously destroying indigenous poppy plants. After seeing countless tattooed girls in sun hats frolicking in a sea of orange and purple, thou- sands of tourists flocked to the Poppy Field to see the super bloom of 2019.

Armed with their cell phones and children, visitors struggled to locate parking and resorted to pulling over on the side of the highway. Fortunately, the city police of Lake Elsinore were ready and able to hand out thousands of dollars worth of tickets. In their valiant effort to capture that perfect shot, would-be nature enthusiasts trampled over countless poppy plants. Being that poppy plants are delicate and temperamental this caused distress to the City of Lake Elsinore, which resulted in a complete shut down of the trails. The city has since re-opened the trails and created a trolley system with available parking at an off site lot.

A photographer takes shots of a model posing for the camera amongst the foliage behind a no trespassing sign.

A group of artists paint from life and recreate the hills on canvas.

A woman sets up a tripod and camera to take photos of the poppies.