Red Poppies of Georgetown

Since my fascination with with photographing Texas wildflowers has yet to wane, I thought I’d spend Sunday afternoon shooting pictures of the latest flowers to emerge, and quickly (ha!) churn out another Silent Sunday post.

(Please note Internet, it is late Tuesday afternoon as this goes “to press.”)

But that of course was not to be, because I got sucked down the Internet rabbit hole after googling “Red Poppies in Georgetown, Texas.”

Many websites later… I discovered an interesting connection between the poppies of Georgetown, Texas and the famous Flanders Field poppies in Belgium.


But first, a brief history lesson and all will be revealed.

In Flanders Field is a famous wartime poem written by Canadian physician, Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae in 1915.  He was inspired to write it after presiding over the funeral of a friend and fellow soldier killed by German artillery at the second battle of Ypres (a Flemish town in Western Belgium).

The poem was first published in Punch, a London-based magazine in 1915.  It’s popularity spread throughout the world, and soon became synonymous with the sacrifice of the soldiers who died during the First World War.  The remembrance poppy has been used since 1920 to commemorate soldiers who have died in war.

“Thanks for the history lesson Suzanne, but what do the red poppies of Flanders Field have to do with the red poppies of Georgetown, Texas?!”

I’m glad you asked.  You see, Henry Purl Compton was a Georgetown resident, serving in the American Expeditionary Forces, during World War I.  After the war, Henry brought home poppy seeds for his mother, which she planted at her home in downtown Georgetown.  The poppies flourished and the seeds were spread by way of birds, bees, and people throughout the downtown area.

At least, that’s what Google says.

After reading this story you might think Georgetown and the surrounding fields would be covered in red poppies.  After all, WWI ended in 1918 – 94 years ago, and surely that would have given the poppy seeds adequate time to spread and flourish.

Regrettably (in my humble opinion) the red poppy’s growth has been limited to a very small portion of the historic district of Georgetown.

Be that as it may, the clever citizens of Georgetown managed to get the Texas Legislature to decree Georgetown as the “Red Poppy Capital of Texas.”  They even created the Red Poppy festival so people could sell sausage rolls,  funnel cakes, and cold beer while listening to bad cover bands over a weekend to celebrate its history.  (It’s scheduled at the end of the month, I’ll eat a funnel cake for you.)

But enough of that – let’s bring on the poppies and a few other pictures taken intended for a Silent Sunday post.  By, the way, I just learned how to create the picture montage (as seen below) yesterday.

And even more wildflowers!

And horses!
It’s time to wrap this up before several more days pass!
One Response
  1. October 16, 2017

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