Speed and poppies

Red poppy field at Wildseed Farm, Fredericksburg, Texas, April 2011.

This is a cultivated field of red poppies at the Wildseed Farms, Fredericksburg, Texas.  The farm planted about one acre of poppies.  In addition, several rows of lavender, gardens of roses and other plants form a most beautiful farm east of Fredericksburg.

The wildfires lifted and rains were predicted to fall on the ranch as I drove to Fredericksburg a few days ago.  The town thrived on German immigrants who came to America frustrated by the lack of progressive reform in Germany following the Revolutions of 1848 in Europe.  The townspeople, stockmen and farmers concluded lasting peace treaties with the Comanche and lived through Civil War conflict to establish a successful enclave of farming and stocktending in central Texas that endures today.

In Fredericksburg the main street broadens into four lanes of slow traffic and angled parking on both sides of the street like the large thoroughfares in Fort Collins, Colorado, or the wide boulevards of Paris.  As a boy, I always enjoyed the German bakeries in Fredericksburg and still find them sweet-scented and delicious.

Sunday houses abound in the town for farmers and their families who used to come in for the weekend to shop and attend church.  They are small, cottage-like dwellings.  Many appear to be a hundred-years-old, cisterns and fences placed neatly, but now leaning in age, about the houses.  The automobile with paved roads terminated Sunday-house lodging.  As a sign of the times, the farmer and stockman could speed to church or market and return within a day.

As I stood in the gardens of Wildseed Farms I looked out on the highway and saw cars and trucks speeding by the farm, by the poppies and the lavender.  I know that commerce and trade in this day and age must have the machine to carry the goods, but much is lost and never regained when a field of poppies goes unnoticed on bright Spring day.  I should like to think that the tanker trucks and minivans have drivers and passengers that at least glance, perchance slow, at the beauty of the countryside and make a promise to stop the next time and fill their senses with all that nature has to offer.  And, frankly, nature is abundant in gifts even if we don’t slow down.



Filed under Fredericksburg Texas

20 responses to “Speed and poppies

  1. I need a road trip to Fredericksburg. . .or somewhere it’s rained and there isn’t a wildfire! How are you Jack? Great photos and great post.

    • Bunny, I know what you mean. As soon as there was break in the wildfire, I headed out for a day or two, leaving the place in the hands of the caretaker. I’m okay at the core, but this semester (I count the passage of time in semesters) has been pounded with weather, selling horses, rabies scare, etc. I’m stretched thin. I’ve noticed you’ve done so much with your blog and website. Thanks for commenting so quickly. I published the post, walked to the kitchen to get a Shiner beer as a reward for writing and other things and when I came back, there was your comment! You know how it is with comments, Bunny, they are so enjoyable, especially yours. Thanks.

  2. Jack,
    The poppies are beautiful…and remind me how I love to watch, ponder, and daydream over fields of wildflowers, cool dark forests, lavender mountains and silver streams…all reason to slow down and watch, observe nature. A metaphor for life! Thank you for posting, and for your (as ever) sage thoughts. Let there be poppies blooming in our hearts!

  3. Kittie Howard

    I gasped when your blog opened. That poppy field is gorgeous…and the lavendar…oh, it’s all so beautiful. And what a treat as our tornado warning was just lifted (as one was in the area). Mother Nature wants to impress us with her beauty but is miffed too many don’t care and drive on through life. Well, in an e-mail from a British friend, gas is now $11.00 (no typo) in England. If people don’t get their act together and show some respect for Mother Nature, they’re going to smell the roses they tend in their backyards for lack of gas to get to the Safeway to buy a bunch.

    I gave you a shout-out on my post today.

    • My dearest Kittie, how I trust that the tornado warning subsides and all is well. $11.00 a liter! Gosh, we do have to respect Mother Nature. I laughed at your comment! Yep, going to have to stay home and fetch a meal from the backyard. I read your post today and saw the shout-out. You are gracious and a southern lady. But, I repeat myself.

  4. This is so nice, Jack. What a welcome respite it must have been. Fredericksburg is a great little town. I was there once for the Mesquite Festival and bought a pen made from it at a vendors. It’s a favorite. What gorgeous flowers and your photos to prove it. It sounds like a nice little road trip.

  5. A fine photograph, the poppy field, Jack! I was really amazed about the history of Fredericksburg, that the German immigrants came so early. And better yet they learned to live with the Comanche which is very unEuropean of them! The expession, taking the time to smell the roses, is one of my favorites. If we do not slow down to appreciate our natural history, especially in this day of fast pace electronics, it is likely all will be lost.

    Thanks Jack. A great post. I learned a lot.

    • Thank you, Bill. The treaty they had was never broken by either side. The Comanche disappeared, forced to relocate, but the let the German settlements under the treaty alone. We have a major source of history down here, The Handbook of Texas, that is authoritative on these issues. I’ll try and retrieve the name of the treaty and a little more history.

  6. What a beautiful field of poppies! That visual seems to go well with the peace of mind that the rain must have brought! I can only imagine the beauty of a farm full of wildflowers! Seeing that I wouldn’t want to leave!

  7. I laughed and laughed at the irony in the title – whether intended or unintended. We’re as addicted to physical speed in this society as drug addicts are to their “speed” or opium poppies. I can’t help but think that an absence of “poppies in the heart” drives a good number of folks to those unhappy substitutes.

    The poppy field is beautiful. I’m not a fan of lavender, but poppies? Oh, yes. I learned to love them as a child, when I would buy two paper ones for a dime on Veterans’ Day, take them home and listen to my mom or dad read, “In Flanders fields the poppies blow…” Eventually I learned the poem by heart and have carried it with me ever since – another form of poppies in the heart.

    • I intended several levels of interpretation. I started out with the title, “Red poppies in Fredericksburg, Texas,” but decided to play around with the title after I composed the post.

      Yes, the poem. Such a terrible war, The Great War as they used to call it. I haven’t thought about the paper poppies in a long, long time.

  8. Oh wow! I love, love, love the field of poppies! I have poppies in my garden but only a few and I so look forward to their blooming every year. What a treat to have this gorgeous display nearby! I enjoyed your post and hope to find more time to visit in the future… my life is a bit crazed at the moment with far too many distractions but I do get out in the garden this time of year to enjoy (and photograph) the flora and fauna and breathe in the lovely spring weather!

  9. You are oh so right about slowing down and enjoying nature. We miss so much when we don’t.

    • I know how much you appreciate what I wrote for I can see you are one that stops and looks and feels nature. And, on top of that, you make good recipes that we can enjoy on the blogosphere. Thanks, Annie.

  10. What a beautiful article about Wildseed Farms. I recently came on as a social media consultant for this wonderful attraction and it has been an incredible experience. The place is kind of a Sanctuary away from the “noise” that is sometimes life. I have not had the pleasure of being in the presence of the bluebonnets, wildflowers and yes, the poppies. We should have a great Spring Show of Color and it seems to be an indication of good things to come in 2012. Thank you for this wonderful tribute to nature and for giving us the shout out. Please come back soon.

    • Melanie: Oh, I shall come back soon. It is always such a pleasure and renewing to visit Wildseed Farms. Whenever I visit Wildseed Farms, I am taken back in fond remembrance of my mother a aunts that had their own gardens in their lifetimes. Thank you for commenting. I should probably put a permanent link to Wildseed down in my bottom widget area.

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