Here's a picture of one of the roadsides in Turkey. There were many different kinds of poppies in bloom to be found there, but the most common was a shrubby one with bright red flowers. I'll upload more pictures soon.
I have been thinking about Irene lots lately, because they stock her purple gloves here at the molecular lab. I must say, they are really very nice. In the past two weeks I've learned how to extract, amplify, purify, and submit DNA for sequencing. I like how there are set tasks to do, and when they're done, they're done. With morphology, there's always this nagging doubt: "maybe if I just stare at the specimens for another day, I'll have this amazing insight into how they are related to each other". (This has happened just enough to keep me going for days on end without much to show for it-- well, maybe not amazing insight, but at least something I hadn't noticed before). I can also tell, though, that once the novelty of the new protocols wears off I'll be pretty bored with pipetting and calculating molarity.
I'm saving the best news for last: this weekend I went ahead and adopted Lucy-- the Jack Russell Terrier we were fostering for the past several months-- the one who loves, loves, loves people and wags her tail so much that she sometimes has trouble walking. :)