It's not only the vivid colours and the tissue paper petals bobbing precariously on curved stems that explain my love affair with poppies. Poppies are interesting no matter what aspect of development they are in.
Ready to burst forth at any moment, you can almost convince yourself you see bits of red escaping its temporary prison.
This vivid orb is hard to ignore. I love this photo and eventually it prompted a painting.
The blooming period of poppies is very short, lasting only two to four days before the petals begin to drop. Because of this brief bloom time, poppies are rarely used for cut flower bouquets.
What's left behind after the petals drop is just as beautiful as the flower in bloom.
While the poppy is in bloom the pod is only a small berry but it grows quickly and reaches 5 to 7.5 centimeters. Pods come in two shapes: round and slightly elongated. The seeds inside the dried pods found in fall gardens will become next years poppies. Initially pods are grayish green and somewhat shiny, but they change to a dull gray, a signal they can be picked and still maintain a hard shell. If you pick them too early the pods will shrivel up. Dried pods last indefinitely. I tie the pods together with a string and hang them upside down so the stems will dry straight. Be ready with something to collect the release of seeds. This was a big surprise the first time it happened.
Fertility series (2003)