The thing is, I gain permission to take photographs of the pink poppies… unless I can take a photo from outside a field. Consequently, I find it somewhat irksome to see random people with cameras and phones casually standing around in a field, chatting away as if they’re at some sort of social gathering. Little thought is given to the fact that these ‘pretty flowers’ are agricultural crops, and the poppies sometimes end up being trampled. In short, there is scant regard by many that they are actually trespassing on private property in their quest to get the ‘perfect shot.’
Remember: Flowers don’t grow where feet go.
Adding to the above was the fact that some people have told fibs on social media. They state their photographs were taken from the roadside when they were actually standing in the poppy field, some distance from the road. Lying about it is never a smart thing to do, and you always get caught out.
The annual Dorset poppy frenzy
The yearly Dorset poppy frenzy revolves around transitory social media ‘Likes’ and the perceived kudos that people think their photos give. This same scramble for photos applies to all poppies, whether red or pink. In fact, these days the pink ones are now more a whitish shade.
Now, I freely admit that I sometimes put a few poppy photos on social media, but I never say where they were taken and I don’t do it for the ‘Likes.’
The pink poppies started to appear…
Roll forward to June 2022, when the pink poppies started to appear. I was still thinking that I wouldn’t bother photographing them, so what changed my mind? Well, I can’t divulge the reason at present; suffice to say that I took more photos, as you can see here.
Dorset opium poppies and dark clouds.
I visited several different opium poppy locations but in one I chose to photograph the flowers under a stormy sky. Waiting for the traditional sunny poppy day wasn’t an option because the petals were already dropping.
I think the brooding clouds work surprisingly well, even though the light on the poppies themselves wasn’t great. Some of the stems and leaves were showing signs of yellowing too.
Anyway, that’s the nature of outdoor photography and the weather: you have to make the best of the situation you are faced with.
Forget the poppies, this is all about the sky!
The photo below shows a pink poppy field just after sunrise. I was up at 4 am and in the field an hour or so later, to be confronted by this amazing sky. In fact, this trip became all about the sky although, of course, the poppies are an integral part of the composition.
I believe these striking clouds are Altocumulus stratiformis undulatus (Ac str un), although I’m definitely no cloud formation expert.
Pink poppies at sunrise under an amazing sky.
The opium poppy show is over
As I write this, 2022’s Dorset pink poppy fields are pretty much over. Almost as soon as the poppy flowers appeared they started dropping their petals, quickly leaving behind swathes of green seedheads. I presume this was down to all the dry weather we’ve had.
There was one Dorset pink poppy location, in particular, that sparked a lot of interest from the masses – the one here with the church. Luckily, when I went there I didn’t see a soul; it was just me and the birds’ morning chorus. That’s exactly how I like it.