Ripening

Texas coneflower (Rudbeckia texana)

 


In the deep fall
don’t you imagine the leaves think how
comfortable it will be to touch
the earth instead of the
nothingness of air and the endless
freshets of wind? And don’t you think
the trees themselves, especially those with mossy,
warm caves, begin to think
of the birds that will come — six, a dozen — to sleep
inside their bodies? And don’t you hear
the goldenrod whispering goodbye,
the everlasting being crowned with the first
tuffets of snow? The pond
vanishes, and the white field over which
the fox runs so quickly brings out
its blue shadows. And the wind pumps its
bellows. And at evening especially,
the piled firewood shifts a little,
longing to be on its way.
                           “Song for Autumn”  ~  Annie Dillard

 

Comments always are welcome.

Once More, With Fragrance

An unusual evening rain lily

Last month, finding my first rain lilies of the year — a group of five flowers that included this little gem — satisfied me. They were there; they were lovely; and that was enough.

It never occurred to me that I’d find more rain lilies, and I certainly didn’t expect them to appear almost literally on my doorstep, adding their beauty to a vacant lot across the street.

As I arrived home for lunch yesterday, at least a hundred flowers greeted me. Too widely spaced for a satisfying group portrait, they were numerous enough for their fragrance to spread across the field, lingering in the still air.

Walking among the flowers, I noticed one in particular. Instead of the usual three white petals and three almost identical sepals, the flower was sporting nine. Was it six sepals and three petals? Or three sepals with an extra three petals thrown in as lagniappe? I’m still not sure, but the arrangement was as lovely as it was unusual.

 

Comments always are welcome.
Evening rain-lily (Cooperia drummondii, or Zephyranthes chlorosolen) has been moved from the Lily family (Liliaceae) to the Amaryllis family (Amaryllidaceae). The specific epithet ‘drummondii’ recognizes Thomas Drummond, an 18th century Scottish naturalist.

Summer’s Mixed Bouquets

Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) & horsemint (Monarda citriodora)
Matagorda County

As much as I enjoy fields overspread with blocks of single floral colors or the detailed portraits of individual flowers, there’s something about a mix of wild summer blooms that always makes me smile.

Each of these photos was taken within twenty feet of a Texas farm-to-market road — proof that native wildflowers can be as accessible as they are beautiful.

Engelmann’s daisy (Engelmannia peristenia) & Maroon fire-wheel (Gaillardia amblyodon)
Gillespie County
Texas bluebell (Eustoma exaltatum) & Hooker’s eryngo (Eryngium hookeri)
Brazoria County
Bluebonnet (Lupinus texensis) & Maroon fire-wheel (Gaillardia amblyodon)
Kerr county
Horsemint (Monarda citriodora) & Indian blanket (Gaillardia pulchella)
Gonzales County
Common sunflower (Helianthus annuus) & American basket-flower (Plectocephalus americanus)
Galveston County

 

Comments always are welcome.