Friday, May 26, 2017

In Flanders fields (and the museum garden) ...

Just a few flowers from the museum gardens this morning as standard iris and peonies fade --- just a few days ahead of Memorial Day when, years ago, those who decorate graves would have hoped to gather them by the armful on the mornings of annual treks to the cemeteries.

But we're left with roses.

And the smaller but intensely colored Siberian iris (Iris sibirica). A stately white variety will be along in another week or two.

And the poppies are beginning to bloom.

Big floppy ones at the top of the hill.

And at the far end of the vegetable garden, where they've reseeded themselves, more compact varieties.

Look into the center of these poppies and you'll see something remarkable.

And a reminder of John McCrea's evocative poem from the Great War:

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

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