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Spring-turning-to-summer: prancing around little hilltop villages in the Marche region.  Clear skies, fresh grass, winding paths, donkeys lugging stacks of wood on their backs.  Cows standing in the fields and flicking their tails, the song of an unseen bird.  The buzz of dozens of insects scuttling on the ground, through the air.  Bees, butterflies, grasshoppers, beetles.

And throughout this ringing wave of summer potential are thousands of dots of red: the treasure of the Italian countryside.

Poppies, my favorite flowers in this land.