It’s been peak bloom for peonies this past week. With our hot temperatures and gusty winds I can walk outside and immediately smell the scent of peonies in the air. It’s a short-lived bloom season, and perhaps that’s one of the reasons I savor every day. We’ve added additional peony bushes over the years, but I continue to favor the ones that I transplanted from my mother and father’s house in Kansas. These are the ones that were on the side of their house, sometimes neglected, but they continued to blossom. Each year my parents would gather and cut the blooms to take to the cemeteries on Memorial Day and lay on the graves of relatives. Fast forward to now, with both my parents having passed on, I’m filled with wonderful memories and see these Kansas peonies blooming in honor of my mom and dad.
We’re languishing still in winter – short days, colder than normal temperatures, gray skies, brown ground. This beautiful splash of purple iris caught my eye at the store last week. Flowers! Color! Spring! – all in one compact bouquet. It was an instant “shot” of what I needed. The promise of spring is still ahead; yes, there will be blue skies, sunshine, the scents of spring, and the colors of flowers – somewhere ahead of the snow expected later today.
In my longing for the colors of spring, I wandered into the McNeely Conservatory at Como Park. My spirits rose as I took in the colors and smells of our long-awaited season of spring – an array of lilies, tulips, ranunculus, and daffodils. Flowers the colors of the sun — the light of spring that we crave so much after the cold and white of winter. From underneath these tulips the light from above made them glow and shimmer – an ephemeral hint at their fragility and short-lived life in the transition between winter and summer.
Although it’s not here yet, spring is definitely around the corner. After a wet snow on Friday, today is sunny and in the 50’s with much melting taking place. Outside the grass is brown and the trees are bare. But there’s a hope and promise of spring to come. And that’s what these lovely yellow begonias seem to be saying – spring’s colors and warmth will be here soon. Green will appear in our landscape, the sun will generate warmth, and we will gladly move from winter to spring.
I was recently out photographing before sunset. What I was hoping would be a calm evening was developing into just the opposite. The heat of the day and the increasing humidity were causing the wind to be quite blustery. My first instinct was to turn around and go home, but instead I decided to go with it. Silhouetting the flowers behind the glow of the western sky, and using a longer shutter speed, I let the flowers “dance” in front of the lens. The more I watched, the more I enjoyed the unpredictable movement of the flowers. The images seemed to take on a life of their own almost as if knowing that summer is fleeting and now’s the time to celebrate it.