The real thing

DAY 69 (13 JUNE) – Shirley poppy (Papaver rhoeas) (Farnham, England)

If I had a proper sense of timing, I would have spotted this during the recent D-Day anniversary celebrations. A lone poppy against a wall. It certainly beats its mass-produced November paper imitations.

I imagined how an insect would see it landing from above, so long was its stalk and so vertiginous the drop for a small creature.

It was breezy today (and of course wet), making the poppy fold over on itself. It was like a dazzling butterfly waiting to open its wings. And its neighbouring bud resembled a modern street lamp designed to look old.

I love the French for poppy: coquelicot – which turns out to be a colour too. On the CMYK scale, it’s 78 parts magenta, 100 parts yellow. So now you know.

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