My life has a superb cast but I can't figure out the plot.
~ Ashleigh Brilliant


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Bloomin' in the Rain

People from a planet without flowers 
would think we must be mad with joy the whole time 
to have such things about us.  
~Iris Murdoch, A Fairly Honourable Defeat

It's been a dark, chilly, blustery and very rainy day here day today. But between downpours I managed to squeeze in a walk with the dogs, during which I spied some flowers that required returning with my camera. The somber lighting was perfect for making their colors pop, but unfortunately the wind was whipping them about like dervishes and so none of these turned out as focused as I would have liked. But I won't let a little blurriness keep me from sharing them with you! :-)

I think Iris Murdoch would be thrilled to share her name with this beautiful flower! Can you believe its dazzling color? It makes me think of amethysts (and purple cabbage, but "amethysts" sounds more poetic)...


Beside the little glade where we first took refuge in Monday's hailstorm were these pretty Bleeding Hearts. Several people along that street have even larger ones growing in sheltered nooks, but these required the least amount of trespassing to photograph. Bleeding Hearts have always been a favorite of mine and I wish we could grow them at our house, but the only place with shade and shelter from the wind is on a side of the house where no one would ever see them. So I'll just keep admiring others people's...


Aren't they utterly charming? We should be mad with joy the whole time indeed, to have such things about us...

21 comments:

  1. These are lovely flowers;colors are exquisite and I do love purple.

    Thank you so very much for explaining what the name of those 'flying saucer' clouds are; I went on the site and found out they are rather rare to view...I am so happy I was at the right place at the right time that day.

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    1. Thank you, Misty! Yes, purple and green have always been my favorite colors, so I was a bit over the moon for that iris. :-)

      I'm so glad you enjoyed that web site about lenticular clouds! Isn't it wonderful to be in the right place at the right time - and with your camera, no less? :-) Maybe now you'll see more of them - seems like it happens that way, once something enters your awareness!

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  2. Oooh and aaah. This opening statement is very common when I come to visit you. You capture and share so many of my obsessions, and I pay grateful homage to you.

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    1. You're so very sweet! It's really gratifying to know how much you enjoy my blog - that's a big part of my motivation to keep doing it sometimes. And I will forever enjoy hearing (virtually speaking) your appreciative "oohs" and "aahs!" :-)

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  3. What an excellent quote from Ms. Murdoch! (and the pics are great too)

    Strangely enough I just heard an interview with Stephen King on NPR wherein he said the most frightening beginning to a movie he'd ever see was that of the life of Ms. Murdoch (Iris)...it begins with her being unable to remember the name for those things with sticks that birds sit on (trees).

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    1. Wow, that is synchronistic! And for Stephen King to say something is frightening is really saying something. I looked the movie up and see that it deals in part with her Alzeheimer's, so that would indeed be frightening. I'd love to see that film (love Judy Dench) but can't find it on Netflix or at any library in Wyoming. Might have to cough up $8 and buy it, though I never like to do that with a film I've never seen. Have you seen it?

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    2. Yes I have, it's well done but pretty depressing...Alzheimer disease is a difficult topic to get joyous about. Tell ya what...go to your local library and borrow the dvd on an inter-library loan (a secret cultural tool most have never heard of or used). :-)

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    3. I'm sure it is - and would be made more so by the fact my mother suffers from dementia (not Alzheimer's, but still difficult because she has no short-term memory anymore). I use I.L.L pretty frequently (it is a great option), but unfortunately it won't work in this case because no library in the state has "Iris!" So I think what I'll do is fill out a request for our library to purchase it for their collection. I don't really want to buy it myself because I doubt I'll watch it more than once.

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  4. You're right - we should be mad with the wonder of our lovely world. Fabulous shots!

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    1. Thank you so much, Fiona!I know through your wonderful photos that you certainly don't suffer from any lack of madness of both joy and wonder at the beauty in our world! That's what makes your blog such a delight to visit! :-)

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  5. Beauty is there to behold, is it not? Those iris look like Siberians, my favorite. I'd forgotten how much I missed them.....thank you for sharing. Again, our bleeding hearts are long gone, as are most irises, except for the larger-flowered ones. You've done so well to capture their beauty, for all of us to behold ;-). xoxoxo

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    1. You're right, it is a Siberian (no wonder it doesn't mind the chilly weather!) Again, I'm amazed at how far ahead of us you are there. The Bleeding Hearts have been blooming for at least a week, maybe two - I don't know how long they last, but hope it's for quite a bit longer! I noticed at Kendrick Mansion that most of the irises were well past their prime, but saw a LOT of Iris buds getting ready to open at the house where I took this photo, along with all the ones that were already blooming (this was the only one this deep midnight purple color, though). I was a bit self-conscious taking this, because their dog was barking madly through their picture window at me, which brought a woman to the window to see what the fuss was about! Hopefully she was pleased to see me photographing her iris!

      Thank you for the compliments, Spudly - I'm glad I was able to extend the pleasure of these flowers for you through my rainy, gusty photos! :-)

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  6. The flowers look lit from within! The iris is just gorgeous, and makes me miss my little patch of Siberian iris in Madison.

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    1. They do, don't they? That darkly overcast sky provided some magical lighting for them.

      Will Siberian iris not grow in Seattle?

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  7. There's that damn wind again, making it hard on us to photograph! You did an excellent job despite it, though. That iris with the gorgeous purple color and rain drops on it is beautiful!

    I love bleeding hearts. We had them at our old house but it's too windy at our current one to get them. It's been kind of hard finding plants to withstand the wind and winter!

    You're right about the lighting, too. I love overcast days for taking pictures of flowers. They always turn out so much better! And yes, we certainly should be mad with joy. Love that!

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    1. "That damn wind" is right!! It finally quit blowing like stink this morning after several days, and has left me sneezing and headachy. Made it nearly impossible to do anything outside! Thank you for thinking I did a good job of overcoming it to get these photos, though!

      And I know what you mean about it being hard to find plants - especially flowers - that can handle the wind, the cold, and the heavy snow. Our blue spirea didn't survive and our landscaper can't get another one, so we're replacing it with a Barberry. They are really popular here and he said they'll take anything that's thrown at them - cold (check), wind (check), deer (check), clay soil (check), hot sun (check)... so we're heading to the local greenhouse today to try to find the beautiful "Rose Glow" variety, so gorgeous in Autumn! I have no idea what we'll plant in our front flowerbed, though! Well, that's not true - I have a FEW ideas, just not sure if even they'll be able to withstand the wind...

      I never knew that flowers are best photographed on overcast days till I read it in "Planthropology" by Ken Druse (loved the book and used to enjoy his blog till he ruined it by supporting "culling" deer as "wildlife management!" Boo, hiss!! He'd seemed so much more enlightened in his book!) I was skeptical, thinking bright sunshine had to be better, but then I tried it. Wow, what a difference it makes, huh?

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    2. It really does make a difference! I really only like photographing in sunlight if I'm trying to catch some sun spots in the photo. Otherwise it never turns out quite right. It's really too bad that he supports deer culling. Ugh. That's a huge mentality here and it drives me nuts. Mike and I have had several frustrating conversations with co-workers about that.

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    3. Oh yes, here too. People don't realize (or choose to not care) how deer populations are manipulated by Fish & Game! And here a couple of years ago a local developer got the mayor to let the police shoot deer because they were eating the flowers he'd had planted around his latest ugly development! Why do so many people refuse to see that if we're going to move into a place that is home to wildlife, and then plant things that are food to them, we shouldn't even complain - never mind commit murder - when the critters happen to eat them! Why won't they just peacefully share the world we're all a part of? Makes me want to scream.

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    4. Just saw this on Pinterest: timely or what?

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  8. I'm not surprised that it's the purple flowers that have taken your fancy lately - they are your favorite color. That Iris is indeed a perfect specimen!

    I don't think I've ever seen bleeding hearts except in botanical gardens and probably that's because of the special care you describe. They are pretty and I really like that second photo with them all lined up in a row like that.

    Our trillium were almost all gone this weekend but I saw a few and those that I saw had become a pale shade of purple. I thought that was an interesting change to go from pure white to pale purple to gone.

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    1. You're right that purple (and some shades of green) are my favorite color, but I honestly hadn't been singling out purple flowers, at least not consciously, for that reason! It's just that purple flowers seemed to be what was blooming in greatest abundance back then. (I missed replying to your comment when it was fresh, sorry!) The purple iris have since mostly gone away and the white irises are what have come on. Funny how they like to bloom at different times depending on their colors, and how your trillium went the other way, starting out white and turning purple!

      My grandmother had bleeding hearts in her back yard in Havre, and there are a lot of them growing in people's yards here - but they do need shade, which we only have on the house's north side and no one would really see them there. So I'll save them for our someday cottage yard, which WILL have shade trees. :-)

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SOME CURRENT & RECENT READING...

SOME CURRENT & RECENT READING...

  • INFERNO ~ Dan Brown
  • MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD & EVIL ~ John Berendt
  • MY NOTORIOUS LIFE: A NOVEL ~ Kate Manning
  • ONE SUMMER: AMERICA, 1927 ~ Bill Bryson
  • QUIET: THE POWER OF INTROVERTS IN A WORLD THAT CAN'T STOP TALKING ~ Susan Cain
  • THE BEAUTIFUL CIGAR GIRL ~ Daniel Stashower
  • THE DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY ~ Erik Larson
  • THE SHADOWS, KITH AND KIN ~ Joe R. Lansdale
  • THE TIPPING POINT ~ Malcolm Gladwell
There is still strong in our society the belief
that animals and the natural world have value
only insofar as they can be converted into revenue.
That nature is a commodity.
And that the American dream is one of unlimited consumption.
There are many of us, on the other hand,
who believe that animals and the natural world
have value by virtue of being alive.
That Nature is a community to which we belong
and to which we owe our lives.
And that the deeper American dream is one of unlimited compassion.

~John Robbins, "The Food Revolution"