A few weeks ago, poppies started coming up everywhere – on the side of the road, in neglected stone rubble piles behind buildings, and scattered across fields. It took me a little while to make the connection that we are in fact in Flanders, so these are the real Flanders poppies, rather than just the plastic Remembrance Day versions. It’s also a bit funny to see them now – I’m used to the plastic poppies coming out in November, so I was half expecting the real ones would as well.
On the way to work, I ride past several concrete-imprisoned city trees which are now surrounded by masses of cheery poppies – a much better alternative to the concrete, stones or compacted soil that usually fills these tree pits. Around one tree, there was a veritable meadow – poppies, yellow and white flowers, a lone dandelion, grasses, and a few other plants. I don’t know their names, but I think there must have been at least ten plant varieties in that tiny area. I’ll be curious to see how the mini-meadow will evolve over the summer.
Last weekend we also drove down to France, and the poppies there were spectacular. They completely covered the steep, rocky banks along the highway. They were even more amazing in the wheat fields – beautiful yellow ripening wheat against bright red poppies. We now have a ridiculous number of wheat and poppies photos.