California poppies, Eschscholzia californica… these golden beauties are a touch of home-away-from-home for me, and always evoke a flood of memories. As a child I was taught that our state flowers were special, and never to be picked. I have always appreciated their seasonal appearance, but never more so than since I’ve been living here in England. They’re rare here, to be sure, but one of our neighbours tends his large poppy garden carefully, and every spring they cast their golden glow onto my regular walking route into the village. The sun was playing hide-and-seek again today, but it came out just in time to light up the edges of the garden as I walked to work this evening.