I prefer winter and Fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape — the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show. ~Andrew Wyeth

Monday, April 14, 2014

Poppies... "a perpetual astonishment." ~Ellis Peters~

I found the poppies. 
They were all partying on a road, close to home, called Electra Rd. This road follows the Mokelumne River down through the river canyon that the Prospector and I saw last Thursday, from high above the canyon.
This is much closer to my home. So, on Sunday, in the late afternoon about 4:00 p.m., I drove over to the river without the "old man" ( He didn't want to go.) and did a poppy quest of my own.
As I drove around the bends on Highway 49 I saw the hillside and the carpet of poppies. I turned left onto Electra Rd., drove up the narrow road and then...

I saw this...
and this...
and a field of orange.
I had hit the MOTHER LODE. 
This was better than panning all day in the river.

The Poppies were everywhere ...
Cheering and waving at the cars

 sliding down the canyon walls
cascading to the edges of the roadside
and dancing with the Lupine, as if they knew this was their coming out party.
My emotions got the best of me. I really wished I had brought someone with me that would appreciate the beauty of this place and stand silently beside me in awe.
You need to share this kind of beauty.
It's a bit overwhelming.
But, there wasn't anyone to share this moment with... accept some strange men drinking beer and laughing.   Probably didn't want to share my awe with them... so I continued to drive up the road, stopping frequently to shoot these images. I waved at other folks that were enjoying the beautiful Spring day and continued on.

There flowers are called Eschscholtzia Californica, the California Poppy.
They bloom from February to September in open areas and grassy slopes. The flowers close at night and the spicy fragrance attracts beetles, which are pollinators.
That's enough textbook information. I don't want to break the spell. Suffice it to say that this amount of poppies, together in one place, makes you wonder about the order of things on this earth and what is really important.

This is the end of the road. The Electra Hydro Electric power plant is down to the right, out of the picture. The pipe line that runs up the hill and bring water down to the power plant never looked so good.
Oh!! I almost forgot about the river. The beautiful Mokelumne River is usually the movie star around here, but it's taking second, this month, because of the poppies..

Saw a couple of Canadian Geese that got caught up in the beauty of the area and forgot to fly further north.  Guess they decided to buy a few acres with river access and settle down in the California foothills this year.
Can you believe that some people walk out onto this concrete weir? Sometimes you have to save folks from themselves.

Oh, beautiful Mokelumne... how I love you. There are some folks who are working on making you a "wild and scenic" designated river, so no one can hurt you. They have your back, or bedrock, so to speak.

This is a big old tree that has rope swings hanging from it. I hope there will be more water in the river this summer to swing and jump out into it, but I doubt it. There is a drought here and it's bad.
 So, coming back down Electra Rd., it was the beauty of the River to the left and the poppies to the right. The sun was low and the shadows deeper.

 Some poppies cascading down into the river.

The Lupine was trying to compete, but this beautiful blue flower was more like an accessory to the "Oscar" winning beauty and performance of the poppies.

When I reached the main road, I stopped and took some images of the hillside along highway 49. They've made a pull out, a third lane on the east side of the highway, just for the poppies. Well.. I believe it's also for accidents, but we do treat these flowers with the respect they are due. 

It use to be that you couldn't stop without endangering your life and everyone did it anyway. So now, it's a lot easier.  On Sunday,there were other crazy people doing the same thing.
While I was hanging out of my open door window to steady my camera, someone went by and waved at me, laughed and yelled something and gave me a thumbs up. This is what the poppies do. They are the goodwill ambassadors of Amador County.
I got my Poppy fix and now I can go back to living a relatively normal life...
Until the real gold starts showing up in my pan.


  1. those signs are for people like me...and my boys...ha....err....

    yes beauty like that does need to be shared....smiles.

  2. I was there with you in spirit. Thanks for sharing these wonderful photos of the poppies and the river. I got my home state fix for the day. Have a blessed day. Madeline

  3. A wonderful post; my day looks brighter for having seen it!

  4. Yes you did hit the Mother Lode. Wow. To see fields of poppies like that is an exceptional treat. Thanks for scouting it out and sharing all the pictures. They are BEAUTIFUL.

  5. What cheery little fellows they are! We get them in little bunches here and there in the summer but nothing like the display in your neck of the woods! Wow! What can you say? You said it all...spectacular! I love lupines too...have you ever read the children's book, about The Lupine Lady? I think it's call Miss Rumple? Beautiful landscape...lucky you!

  6. Absolutely beautiful! I love all of the wildflowers. The poppies are so gorgeous, and I remember going up on our hill in Placerville when I was little and picking lupines for my mom. I've always loved the lupines.

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  9. Oh my . . . I don’t have words . . . isn’t there a more illustrative term than “beauty”? Maybe dazzling. I would happily have stood there silently beside you, basking in this lump-in-the-throat magnificence! ~Dawn

  10. Hi, I found your blog while looking for recent poppy photos from your area. I am a painter on the coast and was thinking of coming up there to paint poppy fields Tuesday. Do you think they will still be "going off" by then? I would really appreciate and advice. I saw some amazing photos via Facebook and was inspired.
    Thank you!

  11. Erica, I'm posting a reply in the hope that you read my comments again, because you don't have an email reply to respond to. You have noreply-comment@blogger.com. This means that I can't reply to your comment on my email and you have no blog for me to send it too either. I'm sorry.
    Hope you get this ...
    this is what I wrote.

    "Hi, Erika on the coast. This has been a banner year for poppies up here. If I were a painter I would be out there doing some Plein Air painting. It's overwhelmingly beautiful.
    But the weather is suppose to change starting tomorrow. Look up Jackson, CA for weather reports. Last nights news said that the foothills would have rain by Wednesday. The flowers close up without the sun, so I don't know that it would be worth the ride if it's cloudy or rainy.
    The poppies are so plentiful this year that the rain may not affect them, so possibly the following week would be better."

  12. Thank you for replying. No, I don't have a blog so I'm not sure how to comment so you can reply directly but anyway I checked back and saw your comment. Yes, I heard about the rain and cancelled my trip for today but may try to go tomorrow. We have had a great year on the coast too but I can't get enough poppies! Thanks for posting about it in your blog.


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