A springtime bonanza is not expected. Still? Other flowery loveliness may await. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images) The last third of February has a way of inspiring a pondering person to ponder a host of topics that are highly specific to life in Southern California. If you’re a cinephile? You’re likely anticipating the Academy Awards, which are ramping up, in earnest, as March approaches. The street closures in Hollywood, coming soon, also tell us this is so. If you like ranunculus blooms, you’re gazing in the direction of The Flower Fields, in Carlsbad, which historically reopen on March 1 each year. You say you adore lambs and goats? You’re probably jazzed about the seasonal debut of the Farm Center at Underwood Family Farms in Moorpark. But if it is all poppy, poppy, poppy in your poppy-obsessed heart come the later part of winter, then you surely know that the Jane S. Pinheiro Interpretative Center at the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve observes a traditional opening date in early March. The center opened on March 1 in 2017, and that’s when it will throw wide the doors in 2018. How, though, is the poppy-blooming situation in the area, following what has been a few drier months, with the bulk of the 2017-2018 winter falling on the warmer side of the scale, generally? Social media posts from the reserve in recent weeks have been, if not exactly optimistic, then direct in a way all flower fans can realistically understand. “Currently only a few plants are sprouting, and with no major rainstorms in the forecast it still looks like we won’t have much of a bloom this year,” reads a Facebook message posted on Tuesday, Feb. 20. A Feb. 6 post said more rain was needed to get those poppies popping. Will other blossoms make a showing in the area? What will March and April, typically a prime window for spectacular poppy spreads, bring? Fiddlenecks have been spied, and filaree, too. There’s hope for generous flower sightings in other areas of the Golden State; daffodils around Gold Country seem to be making an early showing, here and there. And the deserts, too, are seeing some sprouty buds, though not like last year, when an impressive amount of rain dropped ahead of the 2017 wildflower season. Still, stay tuned on the poppies and other floral matters. Nature has a way of surprising us, quite often. For more current observations and updates from the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve, keep an eye on the destination’s Facebook page.