Spurred Butterfly Pea ~ Centrosema virginianum
When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it,
it’s your world for the moment.
I want to give that world to someone else.
Most people in the city rush around so,
they have no time to look at a flower.
I want them to see it — whether they want to or not.
50 thoughts on “A World for a Moment”
The first thing I thought: Very Georgia O’Keeffe.
When I happened across some of these peas recently, it occurred to me that their natural form is remarkably ‘O’Keeffe-ish.’ I enjoyed making this somewhat abstract image: not to copy her work, but to evoke it.
As Laurie says, very Georgia O’Keeffe.
We often talk about art imitating life, but in this case life, in the form of a flower, suggested art.
That’s what you do for us – you put blossoms into our “hands” so that we really look at them. Thank you!
There’s nothing like a flower or a hundred to brighten things up. It’s a fair trade. You enjoy my flowers, and I enjoy yours — especially now that Dr. M is producing some great portraits of yours with that new camera of his. Our fall flowers are beginning to emerge now, and I can’t wait.
Your photo is a perfect accompaniment for one of Georgia O’s paintings — it LOOKS like her paintings!
I had great fun creating this more abstract image. A little cropping, a bit of a tilt, and there it was. Since visiting the most recent O’Keeffe exhibit I could get to, I’ve had a little memento on my fridge: a magnet with another of her quotations. It simply says, “Take time to see.” If I’ve learned anything at all, it’s that learning to see can be as difficult as learning to manipulate a camera!
Sometimes it’s harder!
Isn’t that the truth. For you, its learning to see as a prelude to painting. We’re both learning.
Once a teacher…always… When I find something interesting, I want everyone to know it. Can’t help it.
I know the impulse well. I’ve often thought of our blogs as grownup versions of a first-grader’s ‘show and tell.’ No one can notice all the interesting things in the world; it’s great to have this online ‘classroom’ where we can bring our treasures to share.
That is a good way to describe them.
Very evocative, glad you took the time to explore this image. Love the bit of iridescence in the petals.
That’s partly iridescence, and partly a natural translucence. Like the spiderworts and dayflowers, their blooms fade quickly — after about a half-day or so — and as they fade they sometimes seem to ‘melt away.’
Being totally unfamiliar with Georgia O’Keefe and her art I am unable to make the connection, but the flower is gorgeous.
It is a beautiful little flower, and this year its season seems to be lingering longer than I’d remembered. If I had to choose one artist as a favorite (who could do that?!) I might choose O’Keeffe. I put together a post about her some years ago that has a nice sampling of her work. Although she’s famous for her large canvases of flowers, you can scroll through the selection of images to get a sense of how broad her interests were.
Nature is very sexy is she not?
I’ve often been amused, perplexed, and intrigued by on-going discussions about the ‘real meaning’ of O’Keeffe’s flowers, but there’s no question that even some taxonomists have noted the sexiness of some flowers. There’s another butterfly pea, also known as Atlantic Pigeonwings, that that belongs in another, very descriptive genus.
Lovely – thank you!
Sometimes, the simplest images can be the most pleasing. I’m happy you enjoyed this one.
As your blog was loading and I saw the photo (before text), I thought: Georgia O’Keeffe!! Your capture is worthy of her paintings!
This really was fun to do. There’s a place for sharp focus and botanical accuracy, but sometimes it’s enough to just appreciate a flower with an eye only for color and form.
Great shot, Linda.
Thanks, Robbie. It occurred to me that as famous as O’Keeffe’s flowers are, she did some great work while in the Lake George area. I had no idea where Lake George is, but when I went looking I stumbled across this nice article.
I’ll confess that I had no idea the border between New York and Vermont runs through so much water! By the time I got done looking at the map and reading about the area, I was ready to head that direction for a little autumn cruising. All I need is some time and some money!
I hear you, so many places to go and tough choices on time & $. It’s a beautiful region, all around Lake Geo. and Champlain and you can take a ferry over to Burlington, VT.
The last time I was at Lake Champlain, for a reenactment of the Battle of Carillon (a British disaster during the French & Indian War) it rained so hard my shoes were overflowing with water, all the body paint washed off the Abenaki warriors, and the British reenactors’ wool uniforms must’ve weighed 80 lbs. Still a great time. Tons of history around there, Benedict Arnold (when he was still on the American side) built a little fleet for Lake Champlain in 1776 which got sunk pretty quick, but turned back a British invasion. But definitely worth cruising around for the scenery.
I thought about so many of your history posts as I was scanning the map. There were names I remembered, but never had really placed. Details help to bring history alive!
I love that you captured that almost glittery glimmer on the petals. Very nice.
I mentioned to another reader that they have a bit of translucence, too. The flowers last only a half day, and then, like spiderworts, they begin to melt away.
Beautiful flower, and Georgia’s poem captures it well! We do spend too much time running around and not seeing the beauty all around us.
Remember the old Simon and Garfunkel “59th Street Bridge Song”? It has that great opening: “Slow down, you move too fast; you got to make the morning last…” If we slowed down just now and then, I’ll bet we’d feel a whole lot groovier!
Oh, man. That one went straight into the wallpaper folder. Georgia would applaud, I think.
Thanks! I’m glad you enjoyed it enough for a save. Every now and then — not often, but occasionally — we can see the world through an artist’s eyes, and I think that’s what happened when I noticed this flower. Even in nature, it seemed so much like one of O’Keeffe’s paintings I thought it worthwhile to try to present it as an homage.
Oh, I do like Georgia O’ Keeffe’s words and your lovely flower – they go so well together.
Thanks, Ann. This is such a pretty flower, and a bit larger than many of our peas. With its delicate petals and color, it was a great subject for a more abstract approach. I’m glad you like it.
Beautiful macro of the flower petals, Linda.
It almost looks like a painting.
That painterly effect is what I was hoping for, Vicki. I really was pleased with the way it turned out; thanks for the kind words!
You’ve done a wonderful job of allowing us to see the world of this Spurred Butterfly Pea and I’m pretty sure we all want to see it.
I had great fun with this one. With a bit of a crop and a slight tilt, even a softly-focused flower can charm.
I’m not sure why but when I read the type of flower I read it as Spurned Butterfly Pea. Gives it a whole new meaning.
Maybe that’s why it’s a little off-kilter — being spurned can be a difficult experience!
When we visited the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe last week that quotation appeared on one of the plaques. I infer her influence on your close view of the pea flower.
What a coincidence — and how great that you had a chance to visit the museum. Did you happen to get into the country around Abiquiu? When I was there, it was long enough ago that tourists hadn’t overrun everything as I hear sometimes happens now. I still have a large wedge of red rock from the mountains in the area.
I thought we might sign up for the home and studio tour but we ended up doing other things. What I really wanted was to be able to roam her land and take nature pictures, but that didn’t seem to be an option.
It amuses me now to realize that while I was roaming the area, I took not a single photo. At the time, I didn’t even have a camera. I do, however, still have that rock and some vivid memories.
It’s always a delight to find these twining their way through other plants. They’re large enough to be spotted easily, and yet are especially delicate — and that color is gorgeous.
Linda, thanks for sharing these verses from O’Keeffe. Nature possesses its own unique way of drawing us into its beauty . . . even for a moment.
Sometimes, a moment is all it takes to clear our vision and let us see the world as it is.