Merlin’s Hollow, Red Poppy A Flower Of Comfort

Merlin’s Hollow, Red Poppy A Flower Of Comfort

Jul 3, 2011
Another great visit to Merlin’s Hollow on July 2nd, 2011. First to notice were red poppies in the Winter Garden at the entrance. The petals of the poppy flower before blooming are crumpled in the bud, that is often why you may see them wrinkled.

They are such a beautiful and delicate flowers, and if you are from Europe you will know a lot about them. Some flowers have meaning behind them, and the red poppy means consolation, in other words relief and comfort.

Red Poppy

During my first visit I mentioned to Dierdre Tomlinson that I will post my photos from the garden on my blog. ‘I am 20th century woman, but I will see what I can do‘, she replied and slipped my card in the blouse. Well, she sees her garden every day, she does not need that trouble so I developed some photos from my last visit and give it to her on that day.

Yellow Wild Flower

I cannot emphasize how nice lady she is. She actually remembered us. She always has little interesting snippets of information or a story to tell. She was very thankful for the photos, and she told me a story about their mailbox which she noticed on one of the photographs she was looking at.

The mailbox was custom made, a gift for David. If I remember correctly, it was their 25th anniversary. She wanted a special design. She wanted a sculpture of a skunk sitting on this mailbox. In addition, with skunk’s tail up so it looked like he was ready to spray. I tell you that is one fun gift to get.

The challenge was that the artist had difficulty visualizing, so somehow he was able to get a roadkill skunk and use that as his model. The result – he made a really real looking skunk. ‘Did you know that we did not get any mail for one week in our mailbox, because mailman thought the skunk was real‘ – she said. And speaking of skunks, did you know that if you pick up a skunk by two hands up in the air he will not be able to spray. Skunks need ground support to charge up.

Red Poppy

We have lot of great photographers in Aurora, and one of them is James whose gallery I visit on a regular basis. He also been very helpful and provided me with useful photography tips. His nature photographs are surreal, and I encourage everyone to visit Jame’s Flickr gallery. Now, you may wonder why I pick on James today in my post. Well, I met James on Saturday. He approached me and introduced himself. We had a nice little chat.

I don’t know how he was able to recognize me from the small picture, but I think my long lens gave away. In addition, the nice thing about blogging locally is that you not only get to know people virtually, but you get to know them outside of blogging world.

Another Yellow Flower

The light wasn’t so perfect. When sun is at its highest point, the light is very bright and harsh, but I often work with exposures and look for a nice background to shoot against. New flowers were blooming and there were some still blooming which I remembered from our last visit. It was kind of rushed visit on our part, but I was able to get few nice flowers again. I also got nice photo of David Tomlinson sitting on the bench and reading book about birds. Aha, my favorite subject too.

David Tomlinson

I happened to notice that Tomlinson’s also grow tree seedlings for our local Aurora Arboretum.

Tree Seedlings Grown for Aurora Arboretum

About the Author

Anna Lozyk Romeo

I am living in Aurora and this is my photo journal blog. A picture says 1000 words - but not always, so I write. You don't have to travel 1000 miles to find a treasure - all I have to do is zoom through my lens and I will find it for you here in Aurora.


  1. Hi Anna.

    Great write-up. You set the photos along with your narrative so well. The skunk mailbox story is really interesting and unique. Dierdre Tomlinson has also remembered me from previous visits. I think last summer I spent two hours one day taking shots around their garden. It’s incredibly generous of them to open the garden up to the public.

    You used to have a photo of yourself on one of your blogs. I think it was myonlyphoto and it may have been some time ago. I don’t think I would have recognized you otherwise. Except for maybe the 100-400L – haha! Nice to meet and chat with you on Saturday and thank you for the kind words and pointer to my flickr site.


  2. Hi James, thank you.

    Wow two hours, she has to remember you, lol, and yes it is very nice of them.
    They are such a nice people.

    Oh I remember, yes myonlyphoto does reveals some pictures, lol, but lens is usually give away.

    Thanks James again, and thanks for the tips. I know someone who likes to use flash in the outdoors to get the crisp images.
    However, I tried it myself and I found that you can see the flash a bit, looks little unnatural. I will try your ISO400 tip then.

    Anna :)