Underside Of A Red Poppy

The local council in Cambridge have been ‘with the programme’ over the past couple of years, sowing areas of wild flowers and letting them be. This patch is in a park near where we live, and it’s only minutes from the centre of town.

Years ago I used to read the blog by a Norwegian photographer – Bjørn Rørslett – who had a camera converted to read the ultra-violet part of the spectrum. He showed how flowers had ‘runways’ invisible to the human eye, that guided insect pollinators like lights on a landing strip.

I never looked at the underside of a poppy or I didn’t notice the black markings that are very probably on the inside of the flower head. And I am idly wondering what the flower looks like to an insect seeing it in ultra-violet part of the spectrum.

Bjørn Rørslett fell ill with Lyme disease, and I don’t know how he fared after that. Here’s the linkto the legacy site at naturfotograf and you can find the UV photos there.

And here’s a closeup of the poppy head – a crop from the first photo.


  1. Tamara says:

    I love the patches of wildflowers with their variegated shapes and colours – and well observed about this poppy in particular, David!

    I remember when you learned about insect runways: The delights of nature, yes? Likewise true about your photo here of the underside of a poppy – how lovely!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. How incredibly strange David! I was just reading an article only a day or so ago on this very thing! Pollination is obviously ‘on the (Hive; ) mind’ lol

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Used to have this sort of annual Poppy growing in the garden. Should really see about finding some more seed…


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