Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Here Be Cap and Bells

Wild Columbine
(Aquilegia canadensis)
The colors of these wild cousins are something to see, and their delightfully complex structure reminds me of a harlequin's chapeau, a medieval jester's cap and bells.  The architecture is splendid stuff, and there is a blithely capering choreography to the dancing movements back and forth on gracefully curved and arching stems. With sunlight shining through, the petals and sepals are like stained glass.  Their native place, the hallowed place of their blooming, is a wild and wooded cathedral (or abbey) in the Lanark highlands—the nave's ceiling is somewhere up in the sky, and its soaring green arches disappear into the clouds above.  There are spires, ribbed vaults and flying buttresses, leafy side chapels going on and on into the depths of the forest.

In late May or early June, columbines often seem to be wearing at least one spider web, along with bits of fluff from nearby cottonwood trees and slender filaments of milkweed silk.  I never fail to be astonished and delighted by what my macro lens "sees" and records in its sylvan ramblings.  At times, its loving eye seems to linger and caress everything it meets in field and forest, and that is particularly so in springtime when columbines are blooming.

As I was looking around the glade last weekend and clicking away with abandon, the first dragonflies of the season were whirring around my head and spiraling off into the sunlit forest in search of prey. There are clouds of black flies and mosquitoes this year, and the little dragons of the woods will dine very well indeed.

Just think, here comes another summer of dancing wildflowers, dragonflies, butterflies and bumbles. After a long cold winter, we are sooooooooooooooooo ready.


Pienosole said...

Yes! Thank you for sharing with us.

Jennifer said...

One of the things I love most about your blog is getting to see so many beautiful northern wildflowers that we don't have this far south. Those wild columbines are so pretty!

Denise Baldwin said...

It has been a long time since I traveled across your pages. How wonderful to look upon them again. I love Columbines and your photography and writing are just as lovely as ever!