Thursday, July 12, 2012

Sunshine State*

Sunshine 3
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.

Sunshine 4
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!

Sunshine 6
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.

Sunshine 2
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!

Sunshine 1
Don't mind taking pictures of the bees enjoying the flowers though.

Sunshine 5
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!

Sunshine 7

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!


  1. A Ha! That's the second reference to snakes in California of the day! Our friends have moved up to Placerville and they have a nest of King Snakes near their pool. Suddenly not so keen on California even if it is gloriously sunny! Enjoying the blog and have just invested in a decent camera so may update our blog for the first time in two years at some point!

  2. I like the California Poppy, so even though I no longer live in CA, I bought a packet of seeds a few years ago and now have them growing and reseeding themselves every year...the cold winters here don't stop them from coming up...they must be hardy seeds.

  3. Bonjour Nicola. Congratulations on your award! Congratulations, too, for these beautiful photos of the Californian landscape. I can tell you are enjoying your photography class, as I did mine in the spring. I am glad you are away from Paris right now. Apparently the weather is still unstable. It looks like summer has not arrived yet in Northern Europe! Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

  4. These are so gorgeous and the colour glows against the hay. Hope you are enjoying the fine weather, hubby tells me it is still crap in Paris (he's there today, top of 19, bah). Provence is hot, sunny and 30 degrees (minimum). I think you need to demenager. ;)

  5. Hi Nicky! Missing you here in Paris, but loving your pics of California. Not too long before I am back there, though I may miss all the poppies. Thanks for the info on the update to the "Illegal to pick 'em" debate - we had some growing in our front yard here in Sèvres and I was afraid to pick them! I think they are more beautiful wherever they happen to be growing versus in a vase or something. Congrats on your award. Wish we would have a chance to hook up in Cali when we are there. I'll see you back in good ol' France!

  6. I can still remember being a young child and being told of the peril involved in picking poppies. I must admit that it only made them more magical for me. I had a little bunch appear this year in a small pot that used to be a home to some mint. Kentucky Colonel Mint died over the winter. Poppies appeared. It's an okay trade. Loved this post.


Bienvenue chez les Berries!
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Let me know you stopped by and I'll be sure to write back.
A bientôt! Nicola

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