At the beginning of this week American Mom in Bordeaux, a URL friend who is fast becoming an IRL friend was kind enough to pass on a sunshine award to me. We certainly have plenty of sunshine here in California this week with the temperatures in the 100s every day (will those of you reading in Paris or the UK please look away while I complain that it's too hot!) and while receiving the sunshine award brightened my day no end, I'm never any good at wittily answering the questions that go with these awards.
Instead I thought I'd spread the sunshine love a little differently by showing you some of the photographs I've been taking for my class of the California Poppies growing all over the land around the house we're renting. I might even sneak in some of the answers to the questions as I go!
I've always loved the California state flower not least because orange is my favourite colour. They bloom all through the spring and summer and like their bolder French cousins, grow all along the roadsides making you want to stop your car in inappropriate and dangerous places to take their picture.
This house is right out in the country though at the top of a private road so not many people have seen this particular crop of poppies. I was just fiddling around with getting a better picture of this scene when I saw a snake crawling towards me through the dry grass - didn't stop to ask what kind before I scrambled back up the hill out of harm's way - so this is as good as you get!
Don't mind taking pictures of the bees enjoying the flowers though.
The California Poppy officially became the state flower in 1903 and until I started to do a bit of research today, I was under the common misconception that it is illegal to pick them. There is no state law specifically prohibiting you from picking the poppy, but it's a misdemeanor to remove any plant from land that you don't own so leave them where they are for everyone to enjoy and you won't get in trouble!
Recipients of the sunshine award are supposed to pass it on to ten more bloggers, but as I don't know that many bloggers who haven't already received it, I've decided to give a much needed update to my blogroll and have added ten blogs I love that I've found in the last year. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
I've got a few more changes for the blog planned when I get a minute. I might even start a Growing Berries Facebook page. What do you think?!
*Florida is actually the Sunshine State, California is known as the Golden State but I'm not going to let the facts get in the way of a good post title!