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Friday, May 21, 2010

In Tualco Fields the Poppies Grow…

Among the chickweed row on row…

Green Valley

Swallows and their kin rule the Valley skies today. Violet-greens, tree swallows, barn swallows, and a “swoop” of black swifts (Cypseloides niger) are aloft, breakfasting on the insect bounty of the Valley. It is difficult to distinguish the flight of violet-greens from the tree swallows unless they fly close enough to reveal their markings. Barn swallows aren’t a problem: they of the longer, forked tails. The swift, a swallow’s near kin, is easy to identify by its erratic, seemingly frantic, wing beats and sickle shaped wings. They are infrequent visitors to the Valley and for some reason choose to show themselves mostly during unsettled weather, which, perhaps, stirs up more bugs. Because it’s not often I see them, whenever I do, I always devote a few moments of watching time.

It’s been a few days since I visited the Valley. The weather, which has “dissed” May lately, is one reason. A bum knee is the other—or maybe it’s a trick knee that’s bummed me out. Because of the knee I’ve opted for low impact exercise this morning. That would be peddling Gladys. Low impact on the knees; much higher impact on the behind.

As we swing by the flower fields, I feel like I’m riding past a landscape painting from the school of Impressionist Art. In the morning light the fields are daubed with hot colors, splashes of reds and oranges, bursts of brilliant color that would “impress” any painter to heat up his pallet. These hotspots are poppies, huge ones, and since I have left my easel behind, I decide to digitize them for this post. I suppose they will be gathered up for cut flowers, but I always thought poppy blooms were too short lived to pump up a bouquet. Perhaps these giant poppies have a longer vase life? Don’t know about that, but these bright color balls certainly announce their presence here in the flower fields.In Tualco Fields..


T. Poppy 


Red Poppy

Of course our Valley poppies presage Memorial Day when the Veterans’ of Foreign Wars will take their posts in strategic places and peddle their  poppies for a worthy, charitable cause: aid and assistance for our Nation’s veterans. These artificial poppies, for those who aren’t aware, were inspired by the poem “In Flanders Fields” composed by Canadian Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae. Wild poppies bloom among the crosses in that WWI cemetery in Belgium, and what the VFW’s artificial poppies lack in size, true color and vitality, they make up for in symbol, reminders for us to honor and remember those who have given their lives for God and Country on the battlefields around the world.

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1 comment:

  1. Beautiful flowers! We have some neighbors down the street with a bunch of these big beauties blooming. I've seen several different people in the neighborhood pose for pictures next to these folks' poppies. Imagine how honored Veterans would feel if we were to all wear one of these on our lapels this Memorial Day. :)