I found this field of poppies one spring near Lancaster, California, on a wildflower hunt. Every year, under bracing winds and a brilliant sun, the hills in this part of the world become alive with color. When I’ve passed through the area at just the right time, I’ve seen in my imagination a storybook giant spilling huge cans of paint, covering each hill in its own shade of pink, orange, yellow, lavender or white. A flurry of wildly-colored flowers and humming, buzzing pollinators fill the tiny aperture between winter’s cold and the onset of the dry season. I find it impossible to be immersed in the wild and delirious energy of the time and the place and not be similarly affected by it.