From Complexity to Simplicity

In my previous image of our Prairie Gentian (Eustoma exaltatum) the flower appeared in a tangle of leaves, stems, and fading blooms, accompanied by a pretty lavender Eryngo and its still-developing buds.

Here, a single Gentian in the process of opening shines with a pleasing simplicity.


Comments always are welcome.

46 thoughts on “From Complexity to Simplicity

    1. It’s the sort of complicity I’m more than happy to share. Today, to be ‘complicit’ is defined almost solely in terms of criminal activity (think ‘accomplice’), but as you know, ‘complicity’ derives from the Latin verb meaning ‘to fold together’ (com- and plicare). In that sense, there’s no question that the petals of this flower are beautifully complicit.

  1. But how could nature’s wonderful simplicity not fill you with awe when contemplating its very complexity?

    1. Exactly so. The shades of color in this single bud are marvelous, and the dark petal edge that bisects the flower are the sorts of detail that reward a longer look.

    1. Just as there’s more than one way to skin the proverbial cat, there’s more than one way to present a flower. I’m glad you like this presentation!

    1. If someone asked, “What color is a prairie gentian?” it would be easy enough to say, “Lavender,” but that doesn’t quite convey the reality of the subtle shading. The very fact that you mentioned its ‘colors’ is proof of that!

    1. Even after the bluebonnets and paintbrush have faded away, there’s no end to the floral delights we have. And speaking of delights, I thought of you yesterday when I found a perfect bluejay feather in my parking lot. It wasn’t drowned, though.

  2. There’s a lot of promise here, Linda. I like it! It’s optimistic and expectant, kind of like a flower bud but with more oomph! And such a pretty color, to boot.

    1. It does seem to have more energy than a tightly closed bud, doesn’t it? I suppose (or suspect) that’s because I caught it in the process of unfurling. Some flowers open so quickly you can actually watch the process take place, but I’ve never watched one of these open to know how long it takes. I should put that on my to-do list!

    1. One of the details I love is that slender, almost imperceptible line bisecting the bloom. Rotate the image ninety degrees, and it could be a horizon running between a lavender sea and a lavender sky.

    1. Aren’t those curves lovely? I like the way the shadows deepen the color in some places, highlighting the sinuosity. (‘Sinuous’ is almost as much fun as ‘serendipitous’.)

    1. To my eye, these are among our most graceful flowers; it was especially pleasing to be able to capture the lines of this one.

      I had a ‘first’ experience last week at work. A bee landed on the tip of my left forefinger, and proceeded to groom itself. I have no idea how long it would have lingered, since after a couple of minutes I sent it on its way, but it was great fun to be able to watch it from only inches away.

    1. Shape is easy enough to see in the field, and color generally, but those gradations you mention often are most obvious in a photo, and this one really shines.

    1. We do tend to enjoy the same flowers. Of course, I’ve yet to find a Texas wildflower that I dislike, even though I’ve learned to be cautious around a few (bullnettle, for example). The lines of this one were really appealing.

  3. I wouldn’t mind having a cotton dress shaded like that — dark near the top (of me) fading to lovely lavender in the skirt. If I was a flower fairy, I could have that one.

    1. Its delicate appearance belies its toughness. I’ve seen it blooming in drought and in conditions so wet it’s surrounded by standing water. I do think it has some soil preferences, though. I’m sure its bloom is over now, so I’m going to have to wait another year to find some white ones.

  4. Your Prairie Gentian is a lovely little thing and your image of it quite pleasing. Nice soft lines of the unfolding petals and an equally soft but rich lavender that pleases the eye. The complexity was appealing and the simplicity is just as much so. This flower can certainly stand alone.

    1. I’m always happy to find these, and happy to spend time with them. Their color range is pretty wide, from deep purple to white, and the distribution of colors within the flowers varies quite a bit. Finding such a pure lavender — especially one that matched the eryngo — was even better. Each plant puts out multiple blooms over a fairly long period of time, so once they begin blooming it’s a real feast for several weeks.

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