Poppy Emerging

This opium poppy (I kid you not) rests decoratively in my front garden. Looking at this photo, on Flickr I was asked by several viewers

What are the “hairy footballs” clinging to the poppy petals?

The “hairy footballs” are the poppy bud case (poppy pod) hanging on the flower. Poppy action takes place really quickly once the case is ready to open. The poppy in the photo opened a few minutes before the photo.

Here’s a photo of mine showing a poppy case in the process of expanding before it opens (about one hour to blast off):

Wet Poppy Bud

About this view of the Icelandic Poppy about to, well, “pop,” many people seem to think that it looks like a certain part of the female anatomy. Consider this comment:

I keep looking at it trying to think about the supurb sharpness and the beautiful colors and the masterful macro capture, but my mind keeps thinking those horrid (or at least I feel REALLY horrid about thinking them) thoughts. I feel like some silly 15 year old boy, and not the adult lover of photography that I claim to be. This is an amazing picture, of a girl-like flower.

Even closer up, I think an emerging poppy does look like, well, what this viewer thinks it looks like–either that or velvet fabric:

Tipping the Velvet

View this photograph larger.

Once the poppy emerges from its bud case, pretty soon it takes on a whole new appearance as a fresh part of its life begins:

Basking in the Poppy Sun

View this photograph larger.

This entry was posted in Bemusements, Flowers, Photography.


  1. Turquoise_bleue March 24, 2006 at 4:20 pm #

    Bonjour Harold,

    Il est très difficile de “se logguer” pour vous laisser un commentaire.

    Vos photos sont extraordinaires.
    La définition du coquelicot en pleine naissance est d’une délicatesse, d’une précision… votre travail est réellement exceptionnel.

    C’est un régal pour les yeux que de regarder les détails de chaque fleur, l’angle de vue, l’éclairage, la précision, la netteté, le sujet.
    Merci pour toutes les explications que vous donnez comme un pédagogue.

    Je ne pouvais pas exprimer tout cela en anglais, veuillez m’en excuser.

    Je suis heureuse de vous avoir rencontré.

  2. Alia June 13, 2007 at 6:28 pm #

    Dear Harold,

    I feel more than I can express in words. The close-up of the emerging poppy looks like rivers of perfection surrounded by craggy protective landscape..the vibrant pink colors are like a secret watersource in another land running with living arteries…

    I could wax on, but I really just wanted to give voice to the lovely female French francophone, Turquoise Blue who left a very dear message for you which had never been translated. Luckily, I love art and am also romantic, so I was drawn to the site and intrigued by such a post…also luckily, I am fluent in French, so here is the translation in case you don’t have it:

    “Hello Harold,

    It is very difficult to log in to leave a comment.

    Your photos are extraordinary.
    The definition of a poppy in the process of being born is a delicacy, a precise moment in time…your work is truly exceptional.

    It’s a treat for the eyes to look at the details of each flower, the angle of the view, the lighting, the precision, the clarity and the subject.
    Thank you for all your instructional explanations.

    I cannot express all that in English, I beg you to forgive me.

    I am very happy to have met you.”

    (Blue Turquoise)


One Trackback

  1. By Photoblog 2.0: » Photoblog 2.0 Archive: » Popping on November 19, 2006 at 6:08 pm

    […] get the low-to-the-ground-looking-up-at-the-flower angle using my Low Pad. This image and these images also show poppies and their pods.

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