White poppies Growing in Texas

(WARNING! An extremely long and nostalgic post lies ahead. If you don’t want to hear why poppies, and the British, really matter to this veteran then skip ahead to the growing section)

I am very proud to be a veteran of the United States Air Force (Air Intelligence Agency). The Air Force paid for my education and taught me the skills that I still use to make a living today. It also taught me that duty, honor and country are a whole lot more than just three words. In short, the military is largely responsible for turning me into the man I am today.

In addition to shaping my character, the Air Force let me see the world. I literally went around the world in my ten years of service. I saw wonderful and amazing things and I met incredible people. But of all the things I saw, the thing I most remember and treasure is the November I spent in London.

What we call Veteran’s Day, the British call Remembrance Day. When it comes to appreciating and celebrating their veterans, the British beat us hands down. Veteran’s Day is huge to them. I realize this is because war is so personal for them. Not only did they sacrifice their loved ones to the cause, the world wars literally destroyed their country. Because of this, each November, the British host a series of events that elegantly and appropriately recognize the service of those that were willing to give the last full measure to the defense of freedom

One thing that stuck with me while attending the various Remembrance Day celebrations were the poppies. They were everywhere. On lapels, in wreaths and on tiny crosses that were placed on “graves” outside Westminster Abbey that represented the dead from every military unit (including foreign) that served in the defense of Britain. The poppy was adopted as a symbol of Remembrance Day for several reasons. written by Lt Col John McCrae. Colonel McCrae was a Canadian doctor that wrote “In Flanders Fields” after losing his close friend and student during the Battle of the Ypres Salient in Belgian Flanders. His poem is a poignant reminder that even though war is slaughter and sacrifice the healing begins when the gunfire ends. In case you have never seen it before, here is this beautiful work:

Growing Poppies

Even though I love growing all of my plants, none of them fill me with so much emotion as do my poppies. Each Spring they remind me of the millions of soldiers, seaman and airmen that have died in defense of their countries. They also take me back to a magical few weeks spent in London with my British cousins. The poppies I grow are deep red singles with black throats and bright yellow centers. However, if red or single is not your style, I promise there is a color and style out there for you. Poppies are like roses; they come in every color but blue.

HarperCollins Poppy and Ereth (Tales from Dimwood Forest)
Book (HarperCollins)
  • 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Stated First Edition, First Printing 2009. Published by HarperCollins.

CARNIVOROUS Plants...do YOU paint flowers...

2007-03-07 11:07:45 by Luckskind

For most of my career I have avoided 'florals' like poison but
it seems there are many people out there who love them. I have been asked to include them in my portfolio,ust to 'round it out.' So, knowing me, I immediately headed for the poisonous and carnivorous species. You know, you have to have a theme: deadly nightshades, dream-inducing poppies, etc.
Anyway, here are some nice insect-eating plants.
The white leaf balances off the composition.
I am offering it for sale already.
Anybody here paint flowers???
8" x 10"
oil pastels, pencil, acrylics

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