Wednesday, May 11, 2011

May 2011 Irises

A few days ago, the irises started opening.

Last year they all seemed to open at once. I might be remembering incorrectly, but this year they seem to be taking turns.

Purple irises like these are my favorites, although I like cobalt blue ones, too. When I was growing up, we had some giant bearded irises that were descendants of ones from my maternal grandmother's homestead. They were light blue or yellow. There may be a few at my folks' house, but I think a really cold winter killed most of them off.

I love irises before they are fully unfurled because their triangular symmetry is apparent.  They remind me of NASA equipment opening, or alien telescopes, or ceremonial hats, or craftily folded napkins at an erudite café.

When I see the fuzzy yellow insides, I wonder what the iris would look like with ultraviolet light.

I wonder if the stripes on the inside of the iris are a kind of landing strip for insects to follow for pollination.

In the early morning or late afternoon, shadows and light play upon the blooms.

The sphinx looks on from a short distance.
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