From waves to a single California poppy for the WPC: Forces of Nature

My entry for this week’s Weekly WordPress Photo Challenge theme, Forces of Nature


I took the above photograph after learning about “scale” in an earlier challenge. I think including the silhouette of the beach visitors adds to convey the vastness (and force) of the ocean, even in a small photograph.  What do you think?

Asilomar Coast  1 web

Asilomar Coast web

The WordPress Photo Challenge is truly a good way to improve photography skills, especially for an amateur and forever newbie like me, and to help with composition ideas.

I also started taking wave shots recently, and include these for the theme…

And a few weeks ago, while at a walk, I was struck by the persistence of this California poppy (Eschscholzia californica) to flower, even in a spot that looks unfavorable for growth.

Single Califiornia Poppy at railroad track Single Califiornia Poppy at railroad track 1

The poppy is the official state flower of California.  It is seen on scenic route signs and “welcome” signs along California highways.

Because this poppy is a state flower, it is illegal to collect it in the wild.  But, as you can imagine, if it can grow here along and in between the gravel filled railroad tracks, it is also easy to grow in gardens as it is drought-tolerant and self seeds.

California Poppy plant in bloom

California Poppy — plant in bloom by roadside, where nothing else is growing

When we lived in the East Bay, my daughter put out some seeds at the front of our home, and every year after that, California poppies showed up without fail during springtime.

More on the California Golden Poppy on Local Wiki, where they note “California Native Americans cherished the poppy as both a source of food and oil extracts”. and on an Arizona State University webpage  which includes information about these poppy plants and its traditional use “as a remedy for toothaches…and as tea for headaches”.

There is also an article on The Ecology Center in San Juan Capistrano about how to make a poppy tincture.  Who knew!

California Poppy in front of Colton Hall Monterey

California poppies, springtime blooms in front of Colton Hall, Monterey, California

California poppies — if you are not familiar with these flowers — are really bright and pretty, and so lovely to see blooming en masse wild in a field or valley.  Note: If you want to see more California poppy photos, please visit the post with spectacular photography by Jane Lurie.

One year, my older sister, my daughter, and I drove out to Point Reyes (North Bay) for a visit during spring to see the wild poppy blooms.

If you like seeing wildflowers, Point Reyes is a must visit during springtime, as there are over 800 species that grow there. More about Point Reyes, part of the National Park Service here.and see this poster to get a sampling of the wildflowers you can see at the Point Reyes National Seashore.

When my younger sister  (who now lives on the East Coast of the U.S., but lived in California for years) saw the orange poppies for my post on The Changing Season photo challenge, it made her miss the area.

I wonder if California poppies evoke similar feelings for others…and does a little flower count as a force of nature?

6 thoughts on “From waves to a single California poppy for the WPC: Forces of Nature

  1. Pingback: tnkerr-Writing Prompts and Practice

  2. Nice wave photos (especially love the first one!). I’m not sure why, but I always find it difficult to capture a good wave image…as if there are any ugly waves, haha!

    Yes, poppies are in “force” right now! Love their bright, warm color. I had no idea I wasn’t allowed to pick them. You just saved me from a jail sentence!

  3. Thank you for the nice comment about the wave photo, since I also find it difficult to get a good wave image… But I thought I would try again — and got these! Not awesome, but better than my past efforts, so I think we should both keep trying, Jane. And maybe when we figure out the correct camera setting, we will get a grand wave photo!

    I didn’t know about the not picking the California poppies thing either until recently, especially because….well, they are found everywhere, like right now. I’m glad to save you jail time, haha 🙂 or at least a $1,500 fine!

  4. Hi Lola Jane- Beautiful California coastal scenes and poppies. Perfect for the theme. Thanks for sharing my post on poppies… they are little wonders of nature. Agree, the wildflowers are wonderful at Point Reyes.

Now that you are here, I would love to know what you think...comments are always appreciated.