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

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Wildflower Wednesday

"It was the best of times (for blogging),
it was the worst of times (for blogging)."
~ Laloofah (with help from Charles Dickens) ;-)

It's the best of times because I've got the most stuff going on to blog about. It's the worst of times because I've got the most stuff going on so almost no time for blogging! This season of nice weather is brief and frantic here... seems we cram about 8 months' worth of projects and activities into two! And this year has more going on than most.

It's also the best of times for blogging because it's the most photogenic time of year here. And this has been one of the most amazing years for wildflowers we've ever seen, so I've been taking a lot of wildflower photos since April with the intention of doing a "wildflower safari" post. But even though I've had to delete most of my pictures because my worn out little Kodak can no longer handle close-up focusing, I still got enough worth keeping that it'll take a lot more than one post to share the best ones. So I decided to try a Wildflower Wednesdays theme, featuring just one or two wildflowers each week that I can manage it, and for as long as it takes ~ even if by the time I get them all posted, there's nothing but snow where the wildflowers once bloomed! (And maybe this will keep my blog from going completely dormant till Labor Day!)

Let's begin with our lovely local Lupines, since they are at their height of beautiful blooming abundance right now...

There are more than 200 wild species of Lupine, mostly in North and South America but also in the Mediterranean, with about 50 species here in the Rocky Mountain region. The species are often difficult to tell apart, and I have no idea which ours is (or are), but while the flowers are mostly a purplish blue color, they can vary from white to light blue to dark blue to pink to different shades of purple.

The one above is a real showoff, with four colors going on one plant! We saw our first all-white one on a hike last weekend, but did I have my camera with me? Alas, I did not. *sigh*

See the bee in the upper middle of this photo? I've been chasing bumblebees from plant to plant all over the mountainside, trying to get a good photo of one! It's harder than I thought, the bees probably think I'm a lunatic, and I absolutely decided I need a new camera that can take close-ups, among other things. So we ordered one yesterday. :-)

As a bee gathering nectar does not harm or disturb
the color and fragrance of the flower,
so do the wise move through the world.

~The Buddha, Dhammapada: Flowers, verse 49


Speaking of wise, non-harming bees, here's a cute one who was a lot more cooperative about posing for a picture! :-) I took this of BW (aka Bee Dub) on his birthday Sunday. I think he looks a lot younger than 51 (and I'm not just saying that because he's my sweetie!) ;-)

This is what he was looking up at... some interesting clouds building on top of the 8000' high Moncrief Ridge behind our house. He thought this cloud looked like a dragon, sprawling along the top of the ridge...

And lest you think I've gone off on a completely non-wildflower tangent... see all that yellow in our pasture and beyond? Those are Arrowleaf Balsamroot flowers, which always bloom along with the lupine. So maybe they'll be the next Wednesday wildflower! :-)


P.S. I can seldom hear the word "lupine" without thinking of Monty Python's Dennis Moore, the inept Robin Hood character who steals lupines from the rich to give to the poor...

I always crack up at the "Shut up! This is a holdup, not a botany lesson" bit!


  1. La,

    Happy Belated B'Day to BW. I think he looks younger than 51 too! ;-)

    Great wildflower photos. Thanks for sharing! I am happy to hear your weather has turned. The scenery is just beautiful, too bad it only lasts for a short time.


  2. "Stand and Deliver!" "Your lupins or your life!"

    Those lupins are lovely...Dennis Moore would be delighted! I wonder if you can eat the beans from the wild varieties? Probably...have you ever foraged any?

    Your other half does look a youthful 51 !

    Dennis Moore was always one of my fav Monty Python bits...I also love any of the sketches were they old women.

    You really do live in a beautiful place thanks for the uplifting photos, quotes and videos.

  3. Ali ~ Thanks for BW's birthday greeting and compliment, they've both been passed along to him and earned you a thank you and big grin! :-)

    I'm glad you enjoyed the photos! Our weather has turned... and keeps turning (hopefully not back to snow, though!) It's only supposed to be in the mid 50's for a high tomorrow! In January I consider that balmy, in June ~ not so much!

    I think the fact our beautiful weather and lush green, wildflower-strewn scenery is so brief is part of what makes it so beautiful... and makes me appreciate it so much!

    Rose ~ A fellow MP fan, hooray! "Look, I happen to know that this is the Lupine Express." :-) I've been a Monty Python fan since junior high, when my friends and I would watch it on Friday nights and then spend hours on the phone (as only junior high girls can) the next day recounting all the skits. My high school biology lab partner, the biggest MP fan I've ever known, used to keep me entertained during our labs with his perfect imitations and total skit recall. Sometimes I'd join in, especially when we did the old lady skits. (We had a good-humored teacher!) Remember this one? "They don't stamp animals 'Property of the Zoo!' You can't stamp a huge elephant!" "They stamp them when they're small. There, I've run circles 'round you logically." (I quote that last line whenever I feel I've prevailed in an argument. LOL)

    I don't forage our lupines, because both my Rocky Mtn wildflowers guide and my Edible & Medicinal Plants of the Rockies say that while some of the species are edible, many are poisonous, and that even botanists have trouble telling them apart. Mocha's pasture is full of them, but he doesn't touch them and I follow his lead! :-)

    BW also appreciates your compliment on his youthful appearance, and I'm glad you enjoyed the post and found it uplifting! :-)

  4. That's good to know about lupins...I remember my dad used to love lupini beans, but he certainly didn't forage them! :0

    I'm a huge Monty Python fan...but I don't remember the zoo/elephant sketch off hand. "They stamp them when they're small" excellent! And I must remember that "run circles around you logically" quote too...that could definitely come in handy.

    I love the "Spam, spam, spam, eggs and spam" one and also the dead parrot: "This is a late parrot. This parrot is no more! If he were not nailed to this perch, he would be pushing up the daisies!"..."Oh, no sir, that parrot's not dead; he's just pining for the fields."

    Oh, there's a million of them...I also remember an especially funny one where they are all dressed as old ladies and pretending that their sitting room was a submarine.

    Take care Laurie, talk to you soon.

  5. Hey, Rose! Here's the penguin sketch! (I had some of it a little wrong... lion not elephant, ran rings instead of circles... but my recall wasn't too bad after a few decades! :-) I remember the parrot and eggs & spam bits, but not the submarine skit. I must look for it one of these days, along with the ones for the cheeseless cheese shop and Eric the Halibut ("I want a license for me pet fish, Eric." "How did you know my name was Eric?" "No, me fish's name is Eric. Eric the fish. He is an... 'alibut. Chose 'im outta thousands. Didn't like the others, they were all too flat!") Remember the Lumberjack song? I noticed a link to it beside the penguin sketch video, along with the Ministry of Silly Walks. :-)

    Obviously we could do this all day. Don't even GET me started with some of their movies! LOL We need to put solar panels on our treehouse so we can watch Monty Python DVDs between reading Beatrix Potter and Pooh books and playing Uno! :-)

  6. And how could we possibly forget (even if we could never expect)... The Spanish Inquisition?! ;-)

  7. Like the sound of the Monty Python, Beatrix Potter, Pooh and Uno line up.

    Those are all great you remember the "Silly Job Interview"? (Gooood Niiiigghht) and the Argument one where they argue over the "5 minute argument v. 10 minute argument"..."insults and abuse is down the hall on the left"...and "I could be arguing in my spare time" great stuff.

  8. Rose, I don't remember the Silly Job Interview, but noticed it was among the YouTube collection. I'll have to watch it and see if it's familiar. But the Argument one I remember VERY well! It's one of the ones my biology lab partner and I used to do frequently! "Look, I came here for a good argument." "No you didn't." I love the part where he walks into the Abuse office by mistake, used to have that whole string of insults memorized! (Pity that vanished and was replaced with useless stuff, LOL!) You're right, great stuff indeed! Makes me wish Monty Python were still on the telly on Friday nights!

    Are you also a Fawlty Towers fan? (We LOVE Fawlty Towers!)

  9. Rose - just watched "Silly Job Interview" and it's not one I remembered! LOL - John Cleese just kills me! How did they not crack each other up all the time.. wouldn't you love to see the outtakes? Actually, there was one episode where Michael Palin did make Cleese laugh.. it was a "Gumby Theater" skit (remember those?), and Cleese played a Gumby doctor and Palin a Gumby patient (who is wearing big pants with suspenders and a doily on his head!), and at one point Palin says, "Me brain 'urts!" And Cleese, obviously off-script, grabs the front of Palin's huge trousers, pulls them out and looks down them. Palin tries to stifle his laughter and barely missing a beat says, "NO! The brain in me 'ead!" And that completely undoes Cleese! It's just a scream!

  10. Hey Tex...
    Lupine yay! I remember you admiring one of my lupine shots and mentioning snow on the ground. I'm glad you have your very own lupine to enjoy now. 200 species, huh? Is this a trivial pursuit question, or are you just way too smart? I think yours look a lot like mine here in Maine-they're cousin lupine species. :)
    I am still amazed at the views you have around you all the time. I've never seen mountains that big, certainly not around here. Pleasant Mountain in Fryeburg does not is merely an ant hill in comparison.
    I wanted to thank you for your thoughtful comments regarding my photographs, my "grow" post, and such. I loved the Rumi you shared. I have been journeying and will continue to do so, but steps are moving in forward direction most of the time now. This "standin' still" thing is hard but I guess necessary.
    Boot camp has been a great "re-set". I thought it funny you spoke of your Kodak and am glad to hear you've sprung for something new. I may reward myself with a new camera after this experience is over. Mine takes good pictures at a certain range, but no super zooming and I find my wide range pics rather bland. Let's not blame THAT on the photographer and assume a new camera will solve that issue ;)
    Happy weekend to you. I'm off with the word "fly" in mind today. We'll see where that takes me. Sounds enchanting. Maybe I'll chase some bumble bees around myself, while trying not to disturb the world around me. I loved the bumble bee shot and noticed the bee before the flowers. Go figure.

  11. I agree it would be great to see the outtakes...they must have had such a blast! Sometimes you can just see that they are doing everything they can not to crack up laughing....

    we love Fawtly Tours too...I'm actually a BBC fan in general. I was wondering whether you've ever seen any Michael Crawford stuff? He's great too, from roughly the same time frame...maybe slightly earlier? Lots of physical humor and stunts. A little different from Monty, but some super funny ones just the same. More recently, I really like original and the best (in my opinion) of The Office w/ Ricky Gervais, and also Black's Books, and The IT Crowd, and of course Father Ted.

    I think we'll have to add a few of these onto our lineup!

  12. Sue ~ If the number of Lupine species isn't a Trivial Pursuit question, it should be! :-) I've only played that a couple of times, and the only question that has stuck in my head all these years had to do with the color of yak pee. I think. :-) Both my Rocky Mountains wildflower guide book and a web site I'd found said there are about 200 species, but a different web site said there are over 300! I'm sure our lupines are kissing cousins, but I think yours are larger and come in colors ours don't.

    I'm glad you're enjoying my photos of our views. We sure love our views too, and it's fun to share them here. They're constantly changing and I never get tired of looking at them (or taking photos of them!)

    You're very welcome for my comments on your blog. It's hard to believe you've only been blogging since April, and that you're new to the kind of photography you've been doing. You seem to have taken to it like a duck to water. :-) I'm happy you enjoyed the Rumi poem, I thought it complimented what you were saying in your post so well! And I agree with you about the "standing still" part... usually necessary, but not always easy.

    I do hope you'll reward yourself with a new camera! I'm still trying to learn all the bells and whistles on mine whenever I have a few minutes. I'm not good about reading instructions, I just like to press buttons and see what happens! (Certain career fields were not a good match for me, lol) But I can already tell this camera is going to make quite a difference!

    Your "fly" post was wonderful. And good for you for noticing my bee friend before you noticed the flowers! Good eye! :-)

    Rose - The only BBC show you named that is familiar to me is The Office (and I've never seen it, nor the American version, though both are on our Netflix list to watch someday). The only BBC shows I remember watching during that time-frame besides MP and Fawlty Towers were The Two Ronnies and Benny Hill, but neither of them could hold a candle to the MP guys. We used to enjoy "Are You Being Served," but I think by then we were watching reruns that were at least a decade or two old!

    Let's definitely add your suggestions to our Treehouse TV lineup... along with Black Adder! :-)

  13. Black Adder-- yes! I meant to mention Rowan Atkinson.

    You've got the classics down...I've only seen one or two instances of "The Two Ronnies" but they are hallowed as a British comedic husband goes on about them so...

    But really, I do think you would like The Office as well as the various films Ricky Gervais has made, and def. check out Father Ted and the IT Crowd...I'd love to hear your opinion if ever you see them.

    Talk to you soon,


  14. Rose, I'll check out your recommendations for sure. Any particular Ricky Gervais films you'd suggest? I'm almost certain I haven't seen anything he's acted in, though I've heard of some of them.

    It's been a loooong time, but I do remember preferring "The Two Ronnies" over Benny Hill. I didn't like Benny Hill and rarely watched it. I mainly remember a lot of bare boobs and sped-up film set to some spastic music, but very little that was funny.

    I LOVE Rowan Atkinson! What a hoot he is with his rubbery face! :-)

  15. Thanks, TW!!! My favorite Python sketch. Yes, this redistribution of wealth thing is!

    Lovely wildflower pix as well. You have either a keen eye or an huge adundance of beautiful flowers in your neck 'o the woods...or both ;-).

    Can't believe I forgot BW's BD. Please relay good wishes to him despite being late.

    Over and out for now....



  16. Hi, Spudly! I'm glad you enjoyed - that Lupine sketch is a classic! :-)

    For sure we've had an abundance of beautiful wildflowers this year, no doubt about it! I'd like to think have (or am developing) a keen eye as well, but getting good photos with all this natural beauty around me - and now with my spiffy new camera - isn't much of a challenge!

    Good wishes have been relayed to BW and are always welcome, tardy or not! :-) Thanks, Spud! xoxo


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  • THE HUMANE GARDENER ~ Nancy Lawson
  • THE WORLD WITHOUT US ~ Alan Weisman

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"

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