Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Poppies for November

 One day late in October, I escaped from my computer, out onto the South Downs for a nice long walk in the fresh air. I splashed through puddles along hedge-lined tracks where Wrens and Robins sang, trudged uphill under trees dripping from recent rain and laden with fruits and nuts, and meandered across sparkling pasture where clockwork pheasants strutted and squawked. Reaching the brow of a grassy hill I was greeted by a wonderful view across autumn hued arboretums, toy-sized towns in the valley below where cars glinted on winding roads, and bright sunshine reached down from between the clouds, lighting up the view and sending contrasting shadows running down the hillsides. I walked downhill into an area of thick scrub, past spindle trees full of bright pink berries, between unusual dark grey-green juniper bushes. The path reached a small gate, framed by tall ash trees, and suddenly the view opened out again into a sunlit meadow, filled with scarlet poppies. Like a tapestry, the green field stretched away, woven with bright red poppies and studded with a few rapeseed flowers that shone like yellow jewels. With Remembrance Day approaching, I though it appropriate to take a break from my usual Flower of the Month blog-post, to bask in the glory of these beautiful flowers and direct our thoughts towards the remembrance of all soldiers, past and present, whose sacrifices are honoured at this time of year.

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