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"The poppy was chosen because it was the flower growing wild on war-torn Flanders Field describe in the poem '"In Flander's Field'" by Col. John MacRae. Imagine a muddy field during battle with the dead and injured lying on the ground. Hear the gunshots and smell the fear. Then picture the bright red flowers growing up out of the bloody ground, nodding in the breeze". Why the poppy was chosen as a flower of remembrance for our veterans on Memorial day.

The poem has been added to page two of this thread.

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I have always wondered why the American Legion gives out poppies on Memorial Day. That was beautiful!

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Isn't it the maker of illegal drugs too (lol). On the serious side, love them as a flower, but I seem to remember that some folks use the seed for drugs???
Originally Posted By: Diana-Exotic Pets Editor
"The poppy was chosen because it was the flower growing wild on war-torn Flanders Field describe in the poem '"In Flander's Field'" by Col. John MacRae. Imagine a muddy field during battle with the dead and injured lying on the ground. Hear the gunshots and smell the fear. Then picture the bright red flowers growing up out of the bloody ground, nodding in the breeze". Why the poppy was chosen as a flower of remembrance for our veterans on Memorial day.

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The poppy for opium is different (mostly different) than the poppy for our memorial flowers. Though there is some medicinal quality to any poppy, like the seeds we put on rolls, very few will sprout. I know I tried as a teenager I was curious because I read an article. Outside of curiosity I was never a drug user. What can I say I am a highly curious person. My thought was survival and pain meds if none were available. Too few sprouted to have any value.

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Like you I never did drugs. In fact I never smoked or drank, not that I did not think about it growing up smile
Originally Posted By: Diana-Exotic Pets Editor
The poppy for opium is different (mostly different) than the poppy for our memorial flowers. Though there is some medicinal quality to any poppy, like the seeds we put on rolls, very few will sprout. I know I tried as a teenager I was curious because I read an article. Outside of curiosity I was never a drug user. What can I say I am a highly curious person. My thought was survival and pain meds if none were available. Too few sprouted to have any value.

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I did smoke, and rarely drink. I have to have an ice cream made grasshopper every couple of years. Though, with today's food flavorings I could probably come up with a drink very similar, though there is more alcohol in some flavoring than in liquors.

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Hey, my vice is FOOD!!!! If I could, I would sit and eat all day. Now not healthy, junk (lol). I finally realized that I am a "food addict" = made my life a whole lot better. Now I know I cannot work for a food establishment because of my addiction and make sure I am not hanging out at home to be in the kitchen too much smile
Originally Posted By: Diana-Exotic Pets Editor
I did smoke, and rarely drink. I have to have an ice cream made grasshopper every couple of years. Though, with today's food flavorings I could probably come up with a drink very similar, though there is more alcohol in some flavoring than in liquors.

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I can relate to that entirely. I think it was my mother's way of soothing over problems, bake a cake or a pie, homemade candy. Now I see it as comfort food. Get stressed - eat. My folks both died a short time ago but when they were still alive, and when my son was still alive they came to help me out during my first chemo. Every day she would bake. I find myself doing the same thing.

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I am working on day #2 of not using food for comfort. And it is SO HARD. Between living with a man after over 20 years of not and not working, girl!!!! But I know I have an "addiction" and no longer look down at drug addicts or alcoholics - handling an addiction is sometimes a "second by second" thing. But I have to do this as my size 10 jeans(my favorite/lol) is getting tight. Hey, too hard to find clothes that I love and look good at soon to be age 53. That alone is what is keeping me away from my usual daily "junk" food. I con't care if I don't have any in the house, the temptation to find some no matter what the time is, exists frown But I have done this before and refuse to go back to my size 20 plus clothes!!!!
Originally Posted By: Diana-Exotic Pets Editor
I can relate to that entirely. I think it was my mother's way of soothing over problems, bake a cake or a pie, homemade candy. Now I see it as comfort food. Get stressed - eat. My folks both died a short time ago but when they were still alive, and when my son was still alive they came to help me out during my first chemo. Every day she would bake. I find myself doing the same thing.

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I wish you all the strength. I am truly hoping after my next spine surgery I'll enjoy hiking and such again. I just love to be outdoors walking miles. Just can't do it anymore. Back then I was fit and trim.

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When is your surgery?
Originally Posted By: Diana-Exotic Pets Editor
I wish you all the strength. I am truly hoping after my next spine surgery I'll enjoy hiking and such again. I just love to be outdoors walking miles. Just can't do it anymore. Back then I was fit and trim.

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My family physician wouldn't let me have the surgery because of the blood clots and having to stay on blood thinners...he said six to nine months, so I have quit bugging him, and will wait until September but no longer. The last surgery was December, that is nine months smile

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The poppy symbol from World War I was embraced by several nations even before the USA joined in, most notably England, France, and Canada. The author of the poem, Lt. Col. John McCrea was a Canadian Army physician who died of pneumonia as the war was ending in 1918. Memorial Day in England is called Remembrance Day, officially held at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month - the date and time when the armistice was signed in 1918. However, most of the ceremonies are conducted on "Remembrance Sunday," the 2d sunday in November. Youtube has some nice footage of the ceremonies around the world. It is tradition that the British Monarch bows to no one, but Queen Elizabeth II has a mind of her own and may be seen bowing on two occasions during the Remembrance Day filming - once to honor the war dead after laying her poppy wreath before the Cenotaph, and again to the people right after the singing of "God Save the Queen." I think they can be brought up by typing in "Remembrance Day 8th November 2009 Cenotaph" - there are several segments. Best wishes, Z. G. Standing Bear (US Army, Retired) at The Flash and Thelma Memorial Hedgehog Rescue in Divide, Colorado USA

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Hello there,

I found your information very interesting, thanks for the enjoyable if sobering reading. Which poem are you referring to?

The one that I posted on the Veterens site (News and Politics)came from a compilation of anonymous poetry. Or are you referring to another completely different poem by Lt Col. McCrea? Also, in which direction is the Queen facing when she bows to the people? I would hazard a guess that it is not to the general populace but to those representing soldiers and veterens as themselves across all of the armed forces including the auxiliaries. I have always thought her actions always and only 'performed' thus on Remembrance Day.

Though I now live in South Africa, I was brought up in the colonies as it were where we stood for The Queen (UK national anthem); celebrated Queen Elizabeth's official birthday with cucumber sandwiches and hats and honoured the war dead and Poppy Day in November.

Such nice memories your post has undone. Thank you once more.

Cheers


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I found the YouTube video Remembrance Sunday HM THE QUEEN lays wreath at the Cenotaph 8th November 2009 PART2 It was touching. I did a lot of thinking when I watched her two grandsons laying the wreaths. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

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Quote:
In Flanders Fields
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.


Taken from [url=http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/flanders.htm][/url]

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I am referring to the poem that Diana cited in her original message ("In Flanders Fields"). When I saw the Queen bow twice, as far as I recall both times she was facing the Cenotaph, but the second bow was at the conclusion of "God Save the Queen." Three generations on my mother's side of the family fought and were wounded in wars. "My" war was Vietnam, my mother's brother was a tank destroyer commander in WWII and fought under three different armies in Europe, and his father (my grandfather) fought in Pack Mule Artillery in WWI. My uncle caught the worst of it as he was assigned to an independent tank destroyer battalion that was always being moved to where the combat was. He was wounded four times and earned a Silver Star, personally awarded by General George Patton (in the hospital). I once asked him if there was any senior officer that he considered a hero, expecting him to name Patton. He said there was one - Lieutenant General Sir Brian Horrocks, whom he served under when his unit was attached to the XXX British Corps. He told me that General Horrocks was always at the front, always looking after the men, and his very first question upon arriving at his battalion was "Why don't these men have hot food?! If you can have it in the rear then you can jolly well bring it up here!" That order abruptly ended having to eat Spam three times a day. In the "small world" department, a past president of the International Hedgehog Association lives in Toronto and her father also served under General Horrocks in World War II. When her father died, she sent me her father's autographed copy of General Horrocks's autobiography titled "A Full Life," which I treasure. Having spent a third of a century in the Army, my particular interest is World War II (I suppose because I was born in 1941 and my first conscious memories are of that period). Now in semi-retirement, my sole university duties involve teaching courses on the Internet from home. In each course in the so-called "Class Lounge" I pose a question that the students manage to solve only about 50% of the time. I ask them if there is a person "above the law" who, in a modern, industrialized, civilized country, may operate a motor vehicle on a public highway without a driver's license, without a vehicle registration, and not having to wear a seat belt? I use a creative example submitted by a student citing the President of the Mormon Church in Utah (just to throw them off and have them concentrate on the USA). Well, the correct answer is Queen Elizabeth II, simply because the courts are convened in the name of the monarch, so to cite her for breaking these laws would mean that she would be prosecuting herself. Now, most heads of state are chauffeured wherever they go, but the Queen has always liked to drive (and ride horses) and was an ambulance driver in World War II. One can see photos of her behind the wheel of her not-so-new Jaguar sedan, sans seat belt. Best wishes, Z. G. Standing Bear at The Flash and Thelma Memorial Hedgehog Rescue in Divide, Colorado USA

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Thanks for your very detailed Posts MGSpikers, they were really interesting to read.

My late grandfather fought as a teenager, not that such a thing existed in those days, in Flanders, the western side of Belgium, during WWI, and he told us how the fields of battle were filled with wild poppies which somehow, despite the horrors, death and devastation that surrounded the troops, bloomed each spring and brought hope, colour and a feeling of the continuation of life to those that were still left to fight.

Now the poppies are beginning to bloom here, the fields and roadsides are dotted with red, and in days will be covered. They look beautiful, but every year they bring back memories of him and everything he told us about life in the trenches.

I believe there is a town in Texas where seeds from Flanders poppies were sent home by a serving American soldier during WWI to be sown by his mother, and now the area is ablaze with red for a few weeks every spring.

On another subject you brought up, Remembrance Day, US Veterans Day, which is held to commemorate the signing of the armistice in 1918 on the 11th hour, of the 11th day of the 11th month, is followed by quite a few European countries, and in France and Belgium where most of the fighting took place it is a national holiday. Coincidently that precise time is the beginning of Karnaval, Mardi Gras, preparations in Germany.

And a lighter topic Hedgehogs are protected species in Germany, with their own 24hr Hedgehog Hotline for anyone with a hedgehog related problem or query and a countrywide organization, Pro Igel, which amongst other things gives out well publicized instructions on caring for them in the wild. Including ensuring they have water during dry spells, and special food which can be bought in any supermarket if natural food is a bit thin on the ground for whatever reason. And they are even believed to have been the inspiration of the �Groundhog Day� tradition, part of age old German folklore taken by emigrants to the USA which had been based on observance of hedgehog behaviour at winters end.

As they are a protected species, it is illegal to keep a European hedgehog as a pet in Germany, except if you find one that is sick or does not look strong enough to last through the winter then there is free medical treatment available and you can look after it until the end of winter.

Not all European countries look upon them the same way though, they are a �delicacy� in Portugal and in some East European countries.



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Hello MGSpikers, Francine and Diana and all,
Thank you for your posts and information. Please don't stop writing, MGSpikers please consider becoming a Bellaonline Editor and please find a way to give a website or a contact so that I can followup with your online internet-based courses.

Diana, of course I knew that poem! Feeling shy now having read it again could almost recite it ... thank you very much for posting it, memory plays tricks, I did not recognise the author's name at all but must have known it a some stage when at school in the 60's.

I have determined to write an article for my site on poppies, especially red ones to remember and link together many of the different sites in Bellaonline. Francine, do you know whether or not Flanders poppy seeds are available commercially? I am going to check that out here (SA) for sure.

Thankyou everyone yet again for some very interesting reading.

FYI I do not know what the status of Hedgehogs is here in SA. I will do some homework just because and report back.

Cheers


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Francine, that Texas town is Georgetown, known as the Red Poppy Capitol of Texas. WWI veteran Henry Compton sent the poppy seeds to his mother. The town is just north of the state capitol of Austin. One of the most delightful books written about hedgehogs was the 1972 volume by a German couple, Walter and Christl Poduschka titled "Dearest Prickles - The story of a Hedgehog Family," which was published in German, Dutch, and two English versions, one in England and the other in the USA. Now long out of print, I still manage to find them in online used book stores and I buy them as special gifts for supporters of our hedgehog rescue and for charity auction items at hedgehog shows. The book chronicles the year-long care of several orphaned baby hedgehogs, and it is full of wonderful photos. There is a story (unverified as far as I can tell) of German and Dutch immigrants to the USA (Pennsylvania) looking about for hedgehogs to predict the weather (which was supposedly an old tradition going back to the Roman Empire). Not finding any, they drafted the groundhog who was brown, about the same size as a hedgehog, and hibernated. The Colorado Hedgehog Society organizes the annual Hedgehog Day Tea (on or near February 2d) which used to be held at the old, elegant Brown Palace Hotel in Denver, but was later moved to the very unique home of a Denver area physician who is a big supporter of our hedgehog efforts. If anyone would like a copy of the International Hedgehog Association (IHA) newsletter containing an article about Hedgehog Day and the Hedgehog Day Tea, let me know by email (mgspikers@aol.com)and I can send one along as an Adobe attachment. That issue (Jan/Feb 2009) also contains the review of Hugh Warwick's (Great britain) hedgehog book, which was the most difficult hedgehog book review I've ever done. One of the most remarkable hedgehog books from the scientific standpoint was also German, published in 1938 by zoologist Konrad Herter, at the Berlin Zoo. The 222 page book was only published in German (Die Biologie der europaeischen Igel), but an abridged (72 page) English version did appear in 1965. I was unaware of hedgehogs being used as food in Portugal, but was aware of the practice among Gypsies (Romani, Zigeuner) where they not only ate the hedgehog, but used the hide, complete with quills, to card wool. I enjoyed living in Germany between 1962 and 1966, and again in 1972. Before my US government housing became available (there was a one year waiting list at the time) I was able to stay at Schloss Vollrads (in the Rheingau just north of the village of Winkel) thanks to a letter of introduction from a relative of Richard Graf Matuschka-Greiffenclau. Count Matuschka and I hit it off very well and he was a very gracious host. I still have a number of bottles of Spitzenweine (from the 1920s through 1959) that the Count sent home with me when I returned to the USA in 1966. Best wishes, Z. G. Standing Bear at the Flash and Thelma Memorial Hedgehog rescue in Divide, Colorado USA

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Lieutenant General Sir Brian Horrocks sounded like a wonderful, decent and caring individual. Our service people deserve the very best that is available, and every commander should make sure they have it.

Let's check out the small world department...my brother was an officer in Vietnam-David Jones. After Vietnam he was in Germany and Saudi Arabia. He was mid-west readiness officer out of Ft. Riley, Kansas. Perhaps you may have ran into each other. He would of been pretty young in Vietnam he had just graduated from UCS and went there as a second lieutenant. I believe he is 66 now. He has been retired for quite some time.

I think I have learned more about the Queen of England in the last couple of days than I had in a lifetime. You bring something up, I look it up, then find all kinds of interesting information to learn and research.

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Lestie, thanks for the compliments. I teach Internet ocurses for several colleges and universities, and my main affiliation now is with Thomas Edison State College in Trenton, NJ. Thomas Edison is an adult-learning based college has has a significant Internet component. They have a very supportive and effective staff and are professionals at delivering Internet distance-learning courses (unlike many other colleges/universities). My teaching areas are in criminology, criminal justice, ethics, and forensic science. There are 14 species of hedgehogs around the world, and their range is from the British Isles, across Europe and Asia to China, and from the Baltic states in the north to South Africa. They were also brought to New Zealand by British settlers, and so today they thrive there because their major enemy, the automobile, is not as prevalent as in other places. The only two species that cannot hibernate are the species that were sent to the USA into the pet market, the Algerian hedgehog (atelerix algirus) and the Central African hedgehog (atelerix albiventris). Of the 14 species, the only endangered species is the South African hedgehog (atelerix frontalis). South African hedgehogs have very striking contrasting markings and a photo of one may be seen on www.hedgehogcentral.com. Once on the hedgehog Central site, click on "about hedgehogs" in the left column, and then scroll down to and click on "hedgehogs of the world." A photo of a South African baby hedgehog is there, which was taken in 1999 when I visited there on a lecture tour. He was an orphan and was being cared for by a biologist in Stellenbosch until he got big enough to be released into a game preserve. Considerable research has been done on the South African hedgehog at the Mammal Research Injstitute at the University of Pretoria. Best wishes, Z. G. Standing Bear at the Flash and Thelma Memorial Hedgehog Rescue in Divide, Colorado USA

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Lestie, I remember memorizing that poem as well. It may have been fifth or sixth grade.

Let me know when you are ready with your poppy article I would love to read it. I would have loved to have written one, slightly off topic for me, no matter how I tried to knit the yarn.

Please let us know the status of hedgehogs in SA. I am very curious. I think that is one of the most difficult challenges dealing with exotic pets is the legal status. It is different from country to country, state to state, province to province, county, city, local ordinance, housing associations, its crazy. I have always enjoyed moving about, have moved across the US many times. The moving companies have always taken a toll on our budget so I guess I am staying put for at least 9 years. Trying to buy my new spine has taken the possibility of exploring a new state away from me forever. Moving animals has always been a challenge.

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Francine, it looks like Germany knows how to protect a protected species. Perhaps they could give a few other countries a lesson or two before the tiger is gone forever?

The poppies sound beautiful, a sight perfect to remind us to remember but we must still move forward. Otherwise all that pain and death was for nothing. I am not quite sure why the human species can't evolve past war and hate. I think if we took politicians out of the equation, the people would be just fine. With the computer, we live in a world with no boundaries or borders.

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Tot faciendum parum factum! So much to do so little done.

Like McCarthur I will be back armed with information, but for now tell that I am taking a bit of leave (only a week) so while I have some spare time the rest has been pre-allocated on a very tight and testing schedule for doing ONLY holiday things like:

* staring aimlessly into the middle distance
* contemplating empty circles
* going to the movies
* reading Asterix and the Romans again
* Making some jam and then some pickles maybe
* hammocking
* Arbing (arbitralily hanging)

..you know, stressful busy things like that.

Cheers for the nonce.


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It must have been very interesting staying at Schloss Vollrads in those days, Richard Graf Matuschka-Greiffenclau was already quite an elderly man with a really full and successful life behind him, very influential in the German Wine Growers' Association.

It was sad that after the suicide of his son Erwein, who you might have met and who had taken over the family business after his father�s death in 1975, that the place now belongs to the bank who had brought about the foreclosure. The rest of the family now live in Switzerland but have vineyards in France. Lucky you having some of the original wines.

And the Romans did originally start the belief that hedgehog behaviour could predict the weather and they brought it, and many other things, to the �uncivilised� areas over the Alps, which included what is now Germany and where the tradition is still followed as a bit of fun in some rural regions.

It is not really surprising your uncle had formed a good impression of Lieutenant General Sir Brian Horrocks, he was one of the best and most popular British officers, charismatic and humane. He took part in a TV series which I saw just a few years ago on the History Channel, it was called the World at War and despite the horrors of the subject his segments were interesting, thought provoking and his humanity shone through, which encouraged me to find and read �A Full Life�. What a man he was.




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I agree with both your comments Diana, perhaps Germany has learnt some lessons from the past because in general they now certainly care about life in all its forms and the environment.

And yes why is it the human species as you say �can�t evolve past war and hate�. Is it because we don�t know enough about each others cultures so fear the unknown, or is it as so often is said it is politicians that bring about the wars for one reason or another, misplaced pride or arrogance maybe, whereas as human beings, whoever and whatever they are, basically have the same priorities in their lives, and those priorities don�t involve killing and being killed.

It interests me how decisions about wars have been made even relatively recently but, as usual, the children of the politicians who make those decisions are certainly not the young people who are involved in fighting in them.

That is why someone like Lieutenant General Sir Brian Horrocks is someone it is possible to identify with, he said he continued to have nightmares thinking about the people who had been killed on his orders, even though he knew at the time there had not been an alternative.

On a lighter note in full bloom the poppies do look beautiful, swaying in the slightest wind and a sea of red.




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Francine, staying at Schloss Vollrads was a delight, and at the time I was there, Graf Matuschka was the President of VDNV. He was a very quiet, thoughtful, and genuinely friendly man and was quite different from the Countess (a countess in her own right) who was very outgoing, had a booming voice and a great sense of humor, and stood about 6 or 7 inches taller than the Count. His son Erwein took after his mother in appearance and personality. At the time I was there, Erwein was driving race cars around Europe. I am aware of the foreclosure of the property and certainly wished that Erwein had managed to save it, after all, it was in the family for nearly 800 years. I stayed in the Cavalier House, which, after Graf Richard passed on, was turned into a restaurant. When I returned to visit in 1984, Graf Erwein was not there and all of the folks I knew when I lived there were gone, including the office manager, Frau Klebolte, who was by then in a nursing home. After his retirement, General Horrocks was appointed as The Black Rod in Parliament, a post which goes back many centuries, which I've always viewed as a sort of very high class bouncer for the monarch. Given his habit of always being at the front where the action was, he was seriously wounded and almost never made it out of North Africa. Do you happen to know where I can find an authoritative source for the history of the hedgehogs predicting the weather in Europe? All I have is anecdotal information and there are several folks who claim that this was not a European tradition. Best wishes, Z. G. Standing Bear at the Flash and Thelma Memorial Hedgehog Rescue in sdivide, Colorado USA

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Sounds like a worthy schedule to me. I might try it. So far, we took our daily pilgrimage to Woonsocket to see if the cygnets have hatched. I believe a couple have. I will take the pictures and see if I can peek under her wings.

Now for the rock garden, all they neighbors think I have been trying to grow rocks for two years. I guess it is time to put the plants in. Enjoy yourself!

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* staring aimlessly into the middle distance
* contemplating empty circles
* going to the movies
* reading Asterix and the Romans again
* Making some jam and then some pickles maybe
* hammocking
* Arbing (arbitralily hanging)

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Francine, I think, here in the states, that every decision now made, the only motivation is to be reelected or to be elected. NOT one of our representatives is doing what is good for the general population. Same thing with the budget, nothing but election/reelection is driving the idiotic decisions.

As we grow closer to people with different cultures I think we, as the people, need to take a firm standing against taking arms. We went into Iraq for no other reason than oil. The structure that has been built is not temporary structures but massive and to endure for many years. We went in there for only one reason, correction, the US and its allies.

Perhaps, we have outgrown our current political situation and some changes need to be made.

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ZG if you find the information would you send it on to me please?

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Do you happen to know where I can find an authoritative source for the history of the hedgehogs predicting the weather in Europe? All I have is anecdotal information and there are several folks who claim that this was not a European tradition.


Back to the garden - see you all in a while. Rain forecast for the next week got to make hay while the sun shines. Though it is really windy frown

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I will try and find information in English Diana and ZG. There must be some floating about because the Romans apparently also introduced the whole idea to Britain after they had conquered most of that, though I don't think it is followed in any way these days............or perhaps it is and I have just never heard about it.

There is quite a bit of info. in German, including ancient Folklore etc.

Wrote an article way back in January which includes a relevant German farmers proverb from centuries ago, long before emigration to the USA took off.

Will see what I can find in English.



Hedgehogs, Candlemas and Groundhog Day


Francine A. McKenna - German Culture Editor

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Diana, I did not know David Jones during my years in the Army (1958-1991), and in Vietnam (1968-1970) it's just as well that I did not know him because my main job there was investigating war crimes. Best wishes, Z. G. Standing Bear at The Flash and Thelma Memorial Hedgehog Rescue

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I guess I am glad you didn't know my brother smile It was in the same time frame though.

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Although I went over with the 101st Airborne Division, I was transferred to the 8th Military Police Group (Criminal Investigation) when the My Lai massacre was uncovered, as I was a Military Police officer. It was a tad dicey to have enemies on both sides. Best wishes, Z. G. Standing Bear

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Hi Diana and Z.G., it seems there are written sources from the era that claim the hedgehog was tamed by the Romans in the 4th century BC, and as you know it has a highly sensitive snout which apparently led to the Romans noticing that it was vulnerable to wind, smells and changes in temperature. As well as using the hedgehog for meat and for its quills, it was in their time that it also became a primitive weather gauge. This was documented.

The hedgehog had been a native of Europe for millions of years, obviously a favourite because carved wooden figures of hedgehogs have been found buried alongside young children in graves going back well over 2,000 years, although there is common agreement that it was the Romans who spread the weather divining tradition.

However there are many German �farmers rules� going back hundreds of years that quote �hedgehogs� in their weather predications, including the one used in the article.

The tradition that grew up around February seems to be a combination of many ancient Christian, Pagan and Roman traditions that took root in Germany.

There were several sites in English, nothing �authoritative� that I found in my limited time, but Groundhog Day & Punxsutawney Phil: Facts Behind Forecast from an edition of National Geographic was interesting.



Francine A. McKenna - German Culture Editor

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Thanks! I had not seen the National geographic piece before, mainly because it's been several years since I have searched through National Geographic for anything. As I recall, the oldest hedgehog fossils were located in eastern Europe in what is called today the Czech Republic. Hedgehogs are reputedly the oldest surviving live-bearing mammals on earth, going back some 60 million years to the time of the dinosaurs. At one point, the European (erinaceus) species inhabited North America (between 10 and 24 million years ago), as hedgehog fossils have been found in what is now Nebraska, Montana and Wyoming. The study was conducted by two geologists and published by the Museum of Natural History of the University of Kansas in 1973. Best wishes, Z. G. Standing Bear

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Francine and ZG the history is fascinating. I was surprised to have seen hedgehog fossils in the states. Then again, there are a lot of animals that were once here that are now gone forever.

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I'm not sure how these geologists from Kansas got to recover hedgehog fossils from Nebraska, Montana and Wyoming, but the article was very concise and involved studying fossils of jaw bones and teeth, complete with numerous photos and drawings. Just down the road from us in Woodland Park, Colorado, the main attraction is the Dinosaur Resource Center, which opened five or six years ago and is a branch of Trebold Paleontology, Inc., which, for over 20 years, has recovered fossils and made castings for many museums and other institutions all over the world. They have an excellent web site (www.rmdrc.com) and each summer they host a "Critterfest" where our hedgehog rescue is provided with an information booth and where I conduct a hedgehog class. Best wishes, Z. G. Standing Bear

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Not changing the subject ...

Hello all,

Just poppying past (hah!) to tell you that I have written an article on growing a poppy container; planted up my own mini-meadow with grass and bought poppy seedlings and even found another poem to add to the end of the article written by Moina Michael (who was inspired to do so by John MacRae). Please visit the container gardening site then go to the forum there. Ta.

Still hammocking, two more days to go-

Cheers


Lestie Mulholland - Container Gardening Editor

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Thank you Lestie! Why don't you link it? I guess I could do that for you smile

Planting Poppy Containers
Quote:
POPPY GO LUCKY? Goes hand in hand with happy-go-lucky as these friendly flowers surely have a Flower Fairy of their own.

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Thanks very much Diana, I am not comp lit enough to do these simple things! Oh dear that I need to admit such a thing. I'll get there I am sure, right now am working hard on taking over the site in full so I can get on and post photographs and illustrations of gardens and flowers and plants and all those good things that will make explanations so much easier and nice to read and see.

Cheers


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I love this thread and all the information on the poppy, Flanders Field, and Day of Remembrance. There is some wonderful information throughout. Thank you, everyone!

Standing Bear, I have visited the Flash and Thelma Memorial Hedgehog Rescue site and am delighted with it. I am going back for a more detailed reading of everything. The Major General is awesome in his little hat. I want to adopt a hedgehog after I learn more about them.

I am going to get a large wine barrel, fill it with soil and plant red poppies in it. Lestie, is there any special soil I should use, and is it too late to plant seeds this year?

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Lestie, I am looking forward to seeing pictures too! Anything I can help with, let me know. Welcome! BellaOnline has done a terrific job educating us smile

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Thanks for the compliments on the web site, but it's outdated due to the fact that it was created in FrontPage (which is now obsolete and discontinued)and a lightning strike took out the computer where my FrontPage was sitting. I have managed to buy a copy of it on eBay but have not had time to fool with it lately. There is nothing on the web site that is inaccurate, though - just needs some pages completed. Major General Spikers was a real character, and the photo with the helmet really suited his personality. His journey here from Texas was a fascinating tale in and of itself (and is described in some detail in my book). General Spikers was the founding member of what is now the Hedgehog Government of North America, complete with a Monarch, five ministers and a hedgehog military whose mission is to "combat animal abuse." You can read all about it on the Hedgehog Welfare Society web site (www.hedgehogwelfare.org) by going to newsletters and bringing up Part 2 of Issue Number 37. While on our (www.hedgieflash.org) web site, be sure to read the "Critical Bill" page, which was our most unusual rescue. The material on the page was paraphrased by me (and included in my book), but the circumstances are factual. The book was (and is) an interesting project. Initially I envisioned it as a factual series of vignettes about the hedgehogs coming in to the rescue. But I got involved with a writing coach who suggested I turn it into an adventure story with a plot, arc, and action plan. The second book is now complete (only final editing remains). The writing coach is the successful author C. Ray Montgomery, series editor and author of most of the "Choose Your Own Adventure" series, which has been very popular. The title of the first book is "The Gathering: Secretly Saving the World." (available at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, etc.). The second book (in press) is titled "General Spikers's War: Watership Down Meets Animal Farm in the Military-Industrial Complex." As for adopting a hedgehog, possibly the best method is to subscribe to the Yahoogroups (www.yahoogroups.com) list server called "hedgehog_help." It is a large (1,000 members) list server that is highly regulated and rescue opportunities appear there regularly. Most of the quality (ethical) breeders and rescuers are on that list. Best wishes, Z. G. Standing Bear at The Flash and Thelma Memorial Hedgehog Rescue in Divide, Colorado USA

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Thanks for pointing us in the right direction for adoption. It does my heart good to see people love animals that others considered throw-a-way pets.

I have got to order your book. Looking forward to reading it.

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Phyllis we have poppies growing, the Flanders poppy (Papaver Rhoeas), but it has a short season May, June and July, the seed can be sown in the fall or immediately the snows have gone. Only need sowing once, after that they self seed with a vengeance���..they are like the mint of the flower world and spread everywhere.

There are so many poppy varieties and I am not sure what you can get there, but with Iceland poppies (Papaver nudicaule) it might just still be possible to sow them and they normally flower from midsummer into autumn and as they are perennials if you �dead head� them, so they don�t produce seeds, they will bloom from spring until fall next year. They can easily be sown from seed at the end of summer.

You might even be able to buy plants, but you would need quite a few to make a display that is effective.

Did fill an old sink with meadow flowers once and poppies were amongst them, it was in bloom from spring until late autumn, but have never tried a container with only poppies.

Most poppies are seeded in the autumn, or allowed to self seed, and then they pop up again the next year, but many do need lots of sun and good drainage with soil that is not too rich.

Wish you lots of success with your wine barrel, sounds fun!




Francine A. McKenna - German Culture Editor

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Any chance they would grow in South Dakota? We are in zone 4.

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Yes Diana, The Iceland Poppies (Papaver nudicaule) should certainly be hardy enough to grow there, not the Flanders Poppies though.

Your local seedsman should be able to tell if any other varieties would flourish in a 4 Zone, there are so many different types there must be some more 'tough' ones out there.

Wish you luck.



Francine A. McKenna - German Culture Editor

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Thank you Francine, I appreciate your help.

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