P1070732The fields and roadsides here in the south of France are dappled with colorful spring wildflowers. Blazing poppies, of course. And voluptuous clouds of yellow broom plant–their French name, genêt, is so much prettier.

The yellow in the middle is genêt.
Can’t get enough poppies. Plus, can you see the Pyrenées in the upper left? The electric wires connect the big solar panel installation to the grid.

But if you look closely, you will see smaller spectacles of color and design audacity. They are easy to miss because they don’t have the massive presence of, say, the poppies. These wonders look like they belong in a Dr. Seuss book, flowering in Whoville or Sala-ma-Sond.

One of my favorites, which I don’t have a good shot of, are the purple Sputniks below:

The wonderful photographer Heather at Lost in Arles did a better job on them, as well as on the little white flowers, whose conical heads look surrounded by manes, like little cartoon lions. Or like sparklers.P1070756There are so many flowers on impossibly thin stems that look drawn by a fine pen, that spread out so far.P1070650


P1070761These seemed worthy of Whoville lamp posts. Or fairy lanterns.P1070729Long, long stems with big shapes on the end are very Seussian:P1070652


This one makes me think of Snuffleupagus, who isn’t from Seuss but Sesame Street. But still.P1070721Some scary plants, too.P1070733And some manmade help below. This one is more Barbapapa. Sometimes when I go running, I pass the owner of this place, standing at the end of the drive and waiting for a ride. One day, he was holding a big bottle of whiskey. In the morning. I teased him hard about that. “It’s a present!” he protested.P1070725Maybe I find these amazing because I always lived in a city, where flowers are carefully chosen. Spotting these weird wonders gives me huge joy. What gives you joy?P1070647

A wonderfully red wild iris.


27 thoughts on “Dr. Seuss in the South of France

  1. The night before we married we walked in fields belonging to friends of ours with them, along with another family whose children at the time must have been 10, 6 and 2. Together we cut and picked the flowers for my bouquet and the tables. My daughters made up my bouquet and the sprays for the table out of the bucket fulls we had gathered. It was a wonderful homage to the French countryside that we love so much 🌺

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  2. Playing catch up with your posts. Amazing renovations and stories that bring back memories of times past. Pity we live so far apart , if not we could trade a couple of mirrors and other “goodies” for a stay in your wonderfully renovated appartments.
    Your pictures of the poppies remind me of Monet’s Les Coquelicots.

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      1. I have a question you might answer , or perhaps one of your blog readers.
        It’s about a pair of scissors, scissors that do not cut paper and were in the cutlery drawer. Now I cannot ask my mum.
        If I could send you a picture , perhaps you could shed some light into the mystery. Sylvine

        Liked by 1 person

  3. We have never been to France in the spring. Someday maybe. Poppies would be the reason to be there. We also have a lot of wildflowers……even fields of foxgloves and lupine. But to see a sea of poppies….that has always been a dream for me.


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  4. Are you sure the yellow in the middle distance is broom? I would have guessed it was Gorse (Fr. Ajonc).

    The purple sputniks are Tassel Hyacinth (Fr. Muscari à toupet).

    The sparklers are Ribwort Plantain (Fr. Plantain étroit). It’s generally considered a weed, but I love it and am pleased to find someone else who does.

    The thin stemmed spreading purple flowers are some sort of knapweed (Fr Centaurée) but not one I’m familiar with.

    The thin stemmed spreading yellow flowers are some sort of cress/mustard.

    The thin stemmed white flowers are Nottingham Catchfly (Fr. Silène penché).

    The fairy lanterns are Bladder Campion (Fr. Silène commun).

    The pink big shape on a long stem is a Pyramidal Orchid (Fr. Orchis pyramidal). The yellow daisy next to it is some sort of thistle that I can’t remember the name of.

    The purple bobbles on long thin stems are Crow Garlic (Fr. Ail des vignes).

    The scary plant is some sort of thistle that I can’t remember the name of (different to the yellow one).

    Your wonderfully red iris is an even more wonderful tongue orchid of some sort!

    A splendid collection — a botanist’s dream.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OMG you really know your stuff! Some of the real names are just as wonderful. Centaurée! Crow garlic!
      The yellow stuff is what I know as genêt in French. It’s everywhere here. Smells great.


  5. Oh my, I love everything about nature but best of all around here the sky. Seem to be spending all my time gazing up at it these days. Bows and flows of angel hair….as a fellow country woman once sang. Lovely post!

    Liked by 1 person

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