Thursday, April 23, 2009

Luckier than a four leaf clover!

Kym Kemp took a photo of a poppy the other day, and I mentioned that I make it a quest to find a white poppy every year. She said that she had never seen one and that I had to share. So this is my “Share Post”.

How many people have seen a white poppy? Since I was about ten years old, when I found my first white poppy on my way to school in Laytonville, I have found a white poppy every year. Each year I find at least one of what I would, truly, call a “White Poppy”.

When I found my first one, I remember saying something about it at school. Everybody laughed at me, and I had to show a friend of mine the white poppy as proof. We didn’t have cell phones and digital cameras back then. So the next day we both got laughed at. From that moment on I started to think of the white poppy as something that only I could find. I began to think of it like a person would think of a four leaf clover, and if I didn’t find one at least every year that my normally great luck would go bad.

I have found many of them through the years, sometimes I actually go out and drive around to all of the poppy patches to find one. Last year I almost got skunked. It was getting near the tail end of the great poppy bloom, just like it is now, only maybe a little later. When just like serendipity, I was driving home from Leggett and I looked along side of the road, where Reynolds Redwoods used to be, and right in plain sight on the off ramp was a perfect white poppy plant. It was the one and only white poppy that I saw last year. I took a picture with my cell phone camera, but my cell phone camera doesn’t do well with whites, brightness or high contrast, so the photo was crumby. I went back with my regular camera and the plant was gone.

I usually don’t make a big deal out of finding the plants, because people dig them up and try to plant them in their yards. A friend of mine that I showed a white poppy to, went right home, got his shovel, and had it planted in his yard before the day was over. I don’t know how successfully a poppy can be transplanted mid-bloom but I just didn’t like the idea of taking it from it’s special place.

As you can see from the photos, the white poppies all have a degree of yellow in them, but the one poppy at the bottom was almost pure white. The lighter shade is much lighter than it’s yellow and orange sisters. The one white, white poppy was just about to loose it’s bloom and the wind was blowing stiffly, so I was lucky to get a picture at all. I found quite a few almost white plants around this one pure white poppy, so they were like a landing beacon to find it.

The white poppy is not all that beautiful, and not all that rare, so they are nothing really special to find, but to me I actually choke up a little when I find my lucky little flower.

I’ve always called them Poppies, so if anybody out there calls them something else, and feels like correcting me, JUST FORGET IT!


USelaine said...

I haven't seen one of those in years. A few cream-colored ones used to grow up at my mom's place, back when it still was my grandfather's place on the Navarro Ridge, but I haven't seen those in decades now. Thanks for reminding me.

Ben said...

I've seen them out on the Nielsen Ranch on one certain ridge but not for a few years. Some times there are quite a few. Never saw one in Sothern California where I grew up next to Poppy Peak, a hill covered with poppies before it became covered wiyh houses.

kymk said...

Ernie, Its beautiful! I have actually seen one once but it wasn't as gorgeous as this. I think it looks like the ghost of childhood spring days!

Ren said...

"No cell phones or digital cameras"? Sounds nice!

I've never seen one of those before. Cool post!

Anonymous said...

you mentioned REYNOLDS REDWOODS!i grew up thinking it was REYNOLDS HIDEAWAY????

Indie said...

I have never seen one, Ernie. I will keep my eyes open for one now though. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for sharing one more piece of sohum's beauty! Your love for our home really shines.

Bunny said...

Me too. It's great to learn about something you didn't know about and to be able to go look for it is even better.

spyrock said...

grandma nye used to have a beautiful red poppy plant growing on the side of her house. it disappeared after she died. but it sure was a beautiful plant.