16 June 2016

Photographing a field of poppies

When a friend on Facebook posted a few photos taken in a poppy field I was quick to ask her where they were.  She was kind enough to tell me (thanks Kate!), and the very next day I made my way there.

Stunning.  Breathtaking.  Wow...   Insert your word of choice here.  They were all of that and a little bit more.

I've now made two visits there, with the second trip finding a field even more redder than the first.

Not knowing much about farming, I assumed poppies were the crop.  Apparently not.  The crop was originally supposed to be rape seed, but according to a knowledgeable local who happened by, the farmer ploughed too deeply and disturbed the poppy seeds, hence the field of brilliant red.

To quote the internet...   "The field poppy is an annual plant which flowers each year between about May and August. It's seeds are disseminated on the wind and can lie dormant in the ground for a long time. If the ground is disturbed from the early spring the seeds will germinate and the poppy flowers will grow. 

This is what happened in parts of the front lines in Belgium and France. Once the ground was disturbed by the fighting, the poppy seeds lying in the ground began to germinate and grow during the warm weather in the spring and summer months of 1915, 1916, 1917 and 1918."

From what he was saying the field has pretty much been abandoned by the farmer for the year.

Bad luck for the farmer, but brilliant for us photography people.

Here are some of my favourite images from my two visits.

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