Tag Archives: flowers

Spring flowers

bluebonnets in ditch

Bluebonnet is a name given to any number of purple-flowered species of the genus Lupinus predominantly found in the southwestern United States.

A sure sign of spring in central Texas is bluebonnets blooming in the ditches.

The bluebonnet is the state flower of Texas. Back in the ’70s, Lady Bird Johnson encouraged the planting of native plants along Texas highways in a highway beautification effort. Like cherry blossoms in Washington, D.C., or tulips in southern Wisconsin, bluebonnet blooms are a common sight in the springtime.

Our condo is located near the end of a winding road that makes the most of one of the bends in Lake Travis. Bluebonnets thrive along this road, and they make me happy every time I have to make a run to the post office or grocery store.

bluebonnet closeup

The shape of the petals on the flower resembles a pioneer woman’s bonnet.

Blooms in their original place

Another gray day in paradise. The wet fields are preventing farmers from planting their crops, but you know what they say about the upside of April showers: They bring May flowers.

Here are a few tulips I’ve glimpsed recently. Tulips have lovely blossoms that are best viewed in situ.


This bunch is growing in the middle of nowhere, clinging to a steep hill. “Life, uh, finds a way,” doesn’t it Ian Malcolm (Jurassic Park).

tulips red

These tulips are growing in front of the sign at the other church in town.

tulip yellow

This single yellow beauty is growing in the garden left behind by the former gardeners of our church, now home. It’s a persistent bugger; I have pictures of the bloom last year at this time, too.

I ran across something else today, too, that seems appropriate for the subject matter. I saw this quote in a vanity sink. Yes, you read that right. Kohler made an Artists Edition sink painted with prairie flowers and this verse:

“Our ability to perceive quality in nature begins, as in art, with the pretty. It expands through successive stages of the beautiful to values as yet uncaptured by language.”

~ Aldo Leopold

Leopold was an American author, philosopher, scientist, ecologist, forester, conservationist and environmentalist. He was a professor at the University of Wisconsin and is best known for his book A Sand County Almanac.

Stop and gaze upon the roses


horizontal red roses

Stop and smell the lilacs, that’s a maxim I could get behind. The scent of lilacs blooming in May is both fleeting and intoxicating.

Roses, I have found, are not very fragrant, making the phrase “stop and smell the roses” not only cliché but also misleading. But still, roses in bloom have a way of stopping one in one’s tracks, they are so handsome.

Napa cookie cutter campgroundI captured the image above a couple of weeks ago when we were staying at the Napa Valley Expo, a neat and proper sort of RV park where every lot is exactly the same size, lined up on a perfectly asphalted street. The effect is rather hypnotic, particularly when one walks her dog along the same route every time, four times a day.

Then I wake up in the morning, answering puppy’s call to nature, and notice the dew on the roses.


It’s all I can do not to break out in my Stevie Wonder voice, “Isn’t she lovely? Isn’t she Won. Der. Ful? Isn’t she precious?”

A fanciful row of rose bushes line the main thoroughfare in the park, and I get to gaze upon them whenever I walk the dog or do the laundry. These dewy images were taken a couple of weeks ago, when most of the blooms were only buds, just waking up to spring’s welcome. Unfortunately for us visitors, it rained most of a week, but April’s showers left such perfect droplets on the roses, one might think an artist was painting circular little globs of clear lacquer on every upward surface.

red bud

We answered Wanderlust‘s call to fly home for some business (and pleasure), and then returned “home,” to our little RV in Napa Valley. The rain is gone, and the roses, still standing guard on the thoroughfare, are almost spent. We’ll be moving on soon enough, but today we’re here, and the roses demand attention.

rose bush

This morning’s wide open blossoms.

The tomorrow of a dandelion

dandelion 1

Flowers whisper “Beauty!” to the world, even as they fade, wilt, fall.

~Dr. SunWolf

No one likes dandelions in one’s yard, but they are lovely, even in their pregnant state of parachuting seeds.

I came across this field of dandelions today while I was waiting. And waiting. And waiting.

But if I hadn’t been waiting, I wouldn’t have seen the field. If I didn’t see the field, I wouldn’t have seen the flowers.

Grateful for waiting. Grateful for dandelions.

dandelion 2

Awesome blossoms

awesome tulips

These awesome tulips were so beautiful this morning, I had to share them with you.

I was in downtown Chicago to meet with a client, but when I was done I had some time yet on my parking ticket (and if you’ve ever parked in Chicago, you know that’s valuable stuff), so I took a little walk.

These colorful flowers decorated a florist’s doorway. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that it snowed (yes! snowed!) a week ago, so these blossoms are especially treasured.

How sweet the lily grows

This bloom is orange. Or possibly yellowish orange. Or maybe coral.

“‘O Tiger-lily,’ said Alice, addressing herself to one that was waving gracefully about in the wind. ‘I wish you could talk.’ ‘We can talk,’ said the Tiger-lily, ‘when there’s anybody worth talking to.'” — Lewis Carroll in “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.”

It’s lily time in my neighborhood. I’m no gardener; I’m only someone who appreciates the results of other people’s labors, so maybe these things aren’t called “lilies” but they look like the colorful equivalent of the white flowers you see on the altar at Easter every year.

The sidewalks and driveways of my neighbors’ houses are festooned with all kinds of colorful versions of this flower — yellow, orange, pink, deep red and variegated versions. They are speaking to me of their beauty and fleeting nature, but they whisper, they don’t shout.

There are no lilies in our yard. At least, I don’t think so. To be 100% sure, I would have to inspect the whole yard, rather than just review the offerings from the deck while the dog poops in the back yard. As my neighbors can attest, I rarely can be found walking around my yard. That’s my Beloved’s job. I walk around the neighborhood.

Anyway, we do have some beautiful red morning-glory-type thing blossoming in a planter in front of our garage. It’s really quite striking from the street.

And in the side yard, we have some lovely yellow things and purple things. Definitely not lilies, but flowers of some sort. The real crowning glory in the side yard are the hostas. Neither I nor my Beloved can take credit for our picturesque side yards. The previous owner installed railroad tie steps and an assortment of plants across the entire width of the yard on both sides of our house. He captured the essence of form and function in the landscaping.

I am the fortunate recipient of his labor, and I am grateful for the conversations in which these blooms engage me.

Our lush side yard beckons.

A walk with cranes and autumn blooms

The mist had settled over the creek bed that runs in front of my parents’ house when Mom and I began our morning walk at 6:30 a.m.

The sun was already bright, but the temperature felt a bit like autumn.

As we walked along, I heard a strange squawk that startled me. It was the call of a sandhill crane, described in Dad’s bird book as a “low, loud musical rattle.”

Though Dad would be quick to point out these large birds are not pre-historic, their call sounded a lot like the Hollywood raptor dinosaurs in “Jurassic Park.”

As we continued to walk along, we spotted three crains in a field. One kept up his “rattling,” perhaps as a warning to the other two that two slow-moving humans were nearby. As we approached, they spread their enormous gray wings and flew off, their breakfast rudely interrupted.

I’m sure Mom and Dad have pointed out the cranes in the marshy meadow in front  of their home before, but I don’t remember it. The cranes’ territory extends across the West and the Great Plains from Canada to Mexico, stopping just at the edge of Illinois. However, when I jog around my little village in northern Illinois, I’m more apt to see a poorly ponded residential yard than a slough full of hungry birds.

Minnesota, after all, is the home of the unique sounding loon. Dad boasts of having an endangered red-headed woodpecker visit his bird feeder. With Dad dumping two pounds of bird seed into it every day, this feeder is like the Old Country Buffet of Birdland. Birds of all sorts flock to it.

Also as we walked along in the cool morning, Mom pointed out the blooming asters and goldenrod.

“A sure sign of fall,” she said, on the 17th of August.

A sure sign that I was in northern Minnesota, too, if autumn is evident in mid-August. A lovely and picturesque experience once in a while, but back to Illinois I go.