The Mayflower

Full disclosure. I went for a wander this morning and missed all the good shots like the blue swallowtail perched on the orange lantana. Luckily flowers -mostly- stay still.

That swallowtail also landed here.

Mimosa borealis, I think
Mimosa borealis, I think

Flew past these glowing seed pods:

seed pod

And disappeared into a field where yellow is the latest fad.

yellow may flower 2015

moody yellow may 2015

And where I got sidetracked into photographing imperfect blanket flowers.

blanketflower may 2015

Last November I found a blanket flower still in bloom. The plant was a singleton — possibly a garden escape. Nearly every flower on that plant harboured a native bee. Those bees looked terribly vulnerable to me. Homeless. Exposed. There was a native squash vine growing nearby but it never flowered so I invented a fantasy where the bees were forced to seek an alternate refuge. Today there are dozens of blanket flower plants in that same area. And each one is perfectly imperfect.

blanketflower2 may 2015

blanketflower4 may 2015

Happy May Day to all and humble apologies to the woolly bear caterpillar that landed on my hand and made me not only squeak in surprise but also violently fling it several yards away. Hope your landing was softer than it looked …

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35 thoughts on “The Mayflower

  1. the story and images all the more beautiful for the absence of the winged one…
    since knowing you my eyes are being opened to texas flora and fauna – what did I imagine? a lot of dust I think.
    and the beauty is astounding
    thank you

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  2. That’ s the trouble with butterflies, they are beautiful but so fidgety. They just won’ t sit still and be photographed. Still it sounds as if you had a nice time chasing butterflies and looking at flowers. Funny to see Gaillardia as wild flowers and in bloom so early. They are lovely. Funny name, Blanket flower.

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    1. It is a funny name. I learned that another common name is fire wheel — and I think I like that one a lot.

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        1. They fly so erratically! I suppose that keeps them safe from birds, too. Which is why I really appreciate when others do capture these images because my many failures give an inkling of just how lucky or skilled they must be as photographers =)

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  3. I’d have preferred the wooly bear. My May Day gift was my first tick bite – ick and drat! I still managed to enjoy the day with a lovely walk and made a bouquet of forsythia and daffodils. (Yes, I am THAT far behind you!)

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    1. A tick! How rude. I hope you are ok. Knock on wood but I’ve never had that experience.
      When I lived up north. WAY up north (Zone 3) I used to envy the southern gardens but here are a few secrets I didn’t know then: the flowers come fast but they fade fast too. A great many melt in the heat and some cannot grow because they require chill hours. I didn’t know it would mean losing favourites like lilacs, peonies, rhubarb and so much more. It has been a really great way to learn more about how plants really do have limits.

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    1. Thank you. I started by looking for a perfect example where the petals all radiated in a circle but reconsidered. Things with flaws are just as beautiful sometimes.

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  4. Happy May Day Debra, blanket flowers are real pollinator magnets here, I grow them in my front garden and love their cheery disposition.

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    1. They do seem popular with the six-legged crowd. I just might add some to this little space. There just has to be room somewhere …

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  5. Happy May Day! Those darned insects–they plop on our arms, legs, head, etc. and we’re not quite prepared. I’ve done the same thing–flinging in the poor things off in surprise. But your little guy is probably okay. It’s a tough old world out there, and they’re use to it.

    As to your blanket flower–so common and yet not so. I love how there’s so much variation in this flower–maybe most wildflowers. I have such fond memories of them from my childhood–we had an alley along the back of our homes/back yards and there were so many wildflowers then.

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    1. I felt bad for him and a little annoyed with myself. I thought I was well past the stage where an insect could make me freak out. haha
      My dad was enthralled by the Texas wild flowers. He came just at the peak and couldn’t stop commenting on their beauty and abundance.

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    1. They normally grow in huge drifts and last for most of the year — which I guess is how the common name ‘blanket’ flower came about — blanketing the fields.

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  6. I’ll gently beg to differ. Perhaps you missed what you felt were the “best” shots but you sure enough captured the good ones. (Says me, that’s who.)

    I put out blanket flower seeds for the first time this year. I have no idea what took me so long to try them – I’ve always loved how brilliant they are. I’ve also always loved how no two blanket flowers seem exactly alike. “Variations-on-a -theme-flowers” is what they could reasonably be called, don’t you think?

    Little wooly bear doubtless landed well – after all he was dropping on you to begin with so I’m betting he’d already declared himself ready for whatever came next! Happy May Day!

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    1. Well those are some happy thoughts! Thanks. I love how as a group they all look alike but look closely and each really is unique. I did start by looking for a perfect circle. There were some but they were rare and in the end not as interesting.

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