On September 19, five days after Hurricane Nicholas made landfall, waters in the Brazoria Wildlife Refuge ponds had receded somewhat, but this water lily still wore the necklace of detritus it had collected as it pushed its way through the water’s surface.
Other lilies already had opened, but the loop of grasses around this one’s top had prevented it from joining them. Its slightly odd shape brought to mind a garlic clove, and I paused to photograph it before continuing along the boardwalk.
After a mosquito-shortened visit to a nearby trail, I passed the lily again, forty-one minutes later. Despite impediments, a single petal had worked itself free.
In little more than another half-hour, only two or three petals still were impeded by the grasses.
Witness to such an opening, I couldn’t help wondering if Dylan Thomas’s famous lines were rooted in a similar experience:
The force that through the green fuse drives the flower
Drives my green age; that blasts the roots of trees
Is my destroyer.
And I am dumb to tell the crooked rose
My youth is bent by the same wintry fever.