Sunday Morning Surprise

A surprise waited for me when I went out to the garden this morning to gather some greens for an omelet. Poppies. And more poppies.

They weren’t in bloom yesterday when I gathered lettuce, arugula, shungiku  春菊, and garlic scapes for Saturday’s farmers market in Mt. Vernon.

Every year the bed of poppies grows. I planted a few of them once, years ago, and since then, every spring, hundreds, maybe thousands of poppies spring out of the ground, rise chest high, and spread their feathery, purple petals.

In their centers, their seed pods are already taking shape. By late summer, the dried seed pods will rattle in the wind from the thousands of tiny seeds inside. A good many of their black seeds will end up in my poppy seed jam and machkuchen. The rest will tumble to the soft soil, and rise next spring, stretching their light green, frilly leaves up to the sky, and surprise me once again, when their flowers pop open unexpectedly one June morning, and dance at the tips of their slender stalks.

Sunday morning is a good time to take in the beauty of potato flowers; to turn the compost so the ducks can have a morning feast of earthworms; and pick garlic scapes, arugula, and shungiku 春菊 for a breakfast omelet made with duck eggs.

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