There is something both mysterious and magical about the explosions of poppies you sometimes see at this time of the year. Today I caused Emily, the voice of my Sat Nag a few moments of confusion when I decided to follow the new road from the Middleton Stoney side of Bicester towards the M40 instead of risking getting trapped in what is now a very long stretch of 30 mph through new housing estate and by the roundabout near Bicester Village /Tesco which can be such a nightmare.
It was a lovely stretch, not just because of the lack of traffic (hah you Sat Navs that don’t update) but because I was weaving through newly developed land and road and the bright red of the poppies was quite entrancing. There didn’t seem a sensible place to stop so I’ll sort a picture from a journey to Hereford last year where I did stop in awe of a poppy field that had just erupted into red. It is very hard to do such visions justice with a camera. It is like the vibrant yellow of OSR which looks so dramatic framed in green in situ but doesn’t quite translate into the photograph.
And of course this is where fellow apiarists know I haven’t gone completely off topic. OSR is almost like a drug to bees (and I understand that logically they should not revere it quite so much because other crops / plants are better for them). Poppies are also a friend to bees and we detect its pollen by the comparatively rare grey black of the yield.
The seeds can lay dormant for years and when disturbed and conditions are right they suddenly flower. That is why the poppy became associated with peace and rehabilitation after the First World War after the upheaval of the grounds in Flanders caused the poppies to flower in abundance.