May 3, 2010

Beautiful California Poppies

California Poppies are one of my favorite wildflowers. Ranging in shades of yellow and gold, the flowers open in midday sun and close at night and on cloudy days.

Poppies grow easily in gardens, open fields and alongside roads and freeways. They even grow well in poor soil.

The golden Poppy is befitting as a symbol of the Golden State of California and has been chosen to be the California State Flower. A holiday has been designated for the Poppy on April 6 as "California Poppy Day"

Native Americans cooked the California Poppy plant in oil to produce hair tonic. The sap of the Poppy was used as relief for toothache and applied to open sores. The plant was also used as a sedative to help children sleep. Although the California Poppy is related to opium, it does not have the same effect as the opium poppy. The California Poppy stabilizes the psychological orientation of the user instead of disrupting it.

These vast open fields of Poppies were photographed at Lancaster, California. As the sun climbed high overhead, the Poppies began to open, smile and nod in the cool breeze.

Just as a Poppy flower unfolds its smooth silky petals to greet the warm rays of the sun, we too, can open our hearts to receive God's unfailing love.