Papaver Somniferum

The cruel world is raging, and our attention to the myriad details can become excruciatingly painful and depressing. And yet, we often choose to keep bearing witness to it, chronicling it, and providing sane narrative around it…that we might create a better world in its place.

We all must be seeking out our tried and true antidotes to it lest we go screaming into the night (even if that sometimes that may actually help..). Other than music, I usually turn to the natural world of night skies, critters that visit here, and of course…flowers.

Our garden now is wee since it’s all we can care for, but my goodness, this year it grew as though it knew how much we depended on its beauty, simple Life Force and fecundity to sustain us.

You’ll notice that I have a particular penchant not only for certain flowers, but for their reproductive systems, for many of which I’ve provided close-ups so that we all might get lost in them for a time, then…remember them as representing the sublime beauty of their propagation, which after all…is the one common genetic mandate all life forms.

In their centers you may see mandalas, Greek temples with Corinthian columns, ancient Celtic stone circles,  labyrinths festooned with colors and art alluring to bees; glowing centers one wants to kneel in reverence and awe before; sometimes waving venus flytrap fingers beckoning you (and other visitors) in, modern art that you’d love to hang on your walls, hypnotic arrangements of colors and textures you’ll get lost in; stamens and sigma crusted in glorious pollens of varied colors…well, they really are just magnificent sex organs, aren’t they? The fecundity of life.  Georgia O’Keefe showed the world what they were, didn’t she?   And her paintings delighted millions of us as we celebrated by way of her reverent guidance. During the day, the deep end of morning glory tunnels is always white light tinged with (perhaps imagined) gold; a light so bright that it can cause one to almost feel that the rapture of enlightenment is just there for the asking…

As in so many areas, we’ve seen few bees and butterflies over the past five years or more, so when I’m able to, I do feature them, as they are crucial to many plant species’ making of fruit or flower. I’m sure there are duplicates, sorting them gets confusing. The white sacred datura relatives, Datura Inoxia, thrill me to the core. They’re night-blooming, also called moonflowers, and the blossoms fold their tents after a few hours in the sun. The Nasturtiums are not only edible, but gorgeous and varied unimaginably; their lily pad leaves are heavenly, and just now have started to vine! The Snapdragons are the plumpest and most prolific ever, and I’ve made whole bouquets with them, along with the all-pale-green Bells of Ireland.  There are inner plate dahlias, delphiniums with ‘bees’ (their sex organs are whole other flowers), morning glories, cosmos, squash blossoms, ah…you’ll recognize most of them.

Anyway, enjoy the slideshow, and let it restore you in some small measure. If you’d like to download any for your own use, please do so. I’ll include the link to the stills, and if you click on one, it’ll open in a new window. In the lower right-hand corner, there is an underlined down arrow. When given a choice, do choose ‘original size’, as the resolution will be the highest available tiff (in most cases).

Here’s the flower slideshow. These are the stills.

I’d put up my birds and four-leggeds slideshow some weeks ago, but had forgot to include the stills (link here). Help yourselves; some are half-fold card sizes, many not.

It is possible to embed the shows, but the photos seem to look rather garish that way, so I’ve chosen this way. I hope you enjoy them.