A pink flower was needed today and so I dived into the undergrowth (last summer) to fetch this pretty Sweet William. After all sometimes a girl (or a guy?) just needs a pink posy. So there is no deep meaning behind it, just a warm hug to all and a hope that you are ‘in the pink’ as the saying goes. And if you are not, that this might just help to get you there.
Today I needed a bit of sun and found this rather ragged but brightly sunny image of these helianthus growing next to yesterday’s Japanese knotweed. With a blizzard raging outside yesterday and temperatures of -16C (a change from the rain of the day before) I really didn’t care that these both looked a little the worse for wear. So are we all. But I’ll take a yellow Flower a Day in whatever form it presents itself today and I send it along to all of you in hopes that our day holds more sun – literally and figuratively than just this image. If it doesn’t, well at least we have this! Warm hugs to all!
A Flower a Day takes us today along the road of a regular walk we take and past this invasive plant, Japanese Knotweed. Every year it gets cut back to the ground (I think some attempt has even been made to destroy it) but every year it grows back at an unbelievable speed, thick stems and dense leaves leaning over the sidewalk and catching at us as we walk or cycle by. It is truly the most persistent species that I have seen and surely is not good for the local ecosystem. The flowers here are just caught by the light and you can see the extent of the plant stretching back into the murky darkness behind. Although this is an unwelcome species, I feel that we should all take a leaf from its book (see what I did there?) and keep ourselves as strong as we can despite these times when we can almost begin to feel defeated. We just need to push back up into the light and keep going.
Today’s Flower a Day share is a real mouthful if you try to say the whole name(s) – Paphiopedilum acmodontum, pointed toe paphiopedilum or Pointed Toe Lady Slipper. Phew! Now that’s out of the way, we can get on, call it a slipper orchid and enjoy what an unusual and beautiful design it has. This was the flower that they called to invite me to photograph in the local clinic and I’m so glad that they did. It is probably the most unusual of the flowers in this collection, being an exotic variety that certainly won’t be found growing outdoors here, not even in the heat of the summer. A bit of research tells me that its native habitat is the jungles of the far East, including Indonesia. We are a long way from that environment, so I am really delighted that they have cared for this plant in the clinic and brought it to flower to share with you all today. So with this bit of exotica, I send the hope that your week has a few such rare moments of surprise as I had in seeing and capturing this for us all.
Today we are indoors for our A Flower a Day, which is just as well, as with the temperatures we have had for the past few days it’s time to admire the beauty of my indoor plants. For some reason I thought I had posted a photograph or two of my kalanchoe plants. Every time I saw this photograph I passed over it until yesterday when preparing this post. I searched everywhere to find what I thought I had featured on here and there simply wasn’t one of these. I love these plants (I have 2 of them) and try to keep them flowering, which so far I have had success with. This red one is here seen lit by the sun coming in the window, looking so cheery and bright! I hope my almost forgotten and long overlooked kalanchoe brings you a bright spot to your day wherever you are! I send it with another hug to all, but especially to those missing family and friends now and maybe feeling alone. You are not. We are all still here. Together in this.
Last year in October I shared two photographs of Evening Primrose for Flower a Day especially to give you all a double burst of sunshine. Today I am sending you one bright ray of light from this delicate beauty. Evening primroses are a night flowering plant (I suppose you guessed that) and are a native plant to our area, attracting moths and large numbers of native bees among other beneficial insects. Their roots are eaten by small mammals and the seeds by birds. They are also known for so many medicinal uses for human beings which earns them the nickname of “King’s cure-all”, that I feel they can be rightly considered stars of the plant world. They even have a lemon scent – basically everything you would ever need in a wild flower. As if that weren’t enough, their beautiful colour brightens their surroundings and this post and hopefully your day. (See the comment by Janet below that refers to the “nectar guide pattern” for more fascinating information about this wonderful plant.)
It’s time for another flower in the round for Flower a Day, in this intricate and beautiful dandelion seed head grouping. These were not taken with the Helios but with a fish-eye lens as you can see, but as in the previous round shares, I love the little world it seems to draw us into. We know this microcosm of a world is populated with countless organisms – animal, vegetable and insect – and that some are visible to us but most are out of sight. These most obvious ones we see here are just the tip of the iceberg! As so many things in life are, it’s worth diving into the environment to find out what lies hidden. The bare ground will hopefully soon appear and with it some more delights for us in these colder climes to enjoy. Meanwhile, enjoy dreaming of warm dandelion days.
Sometimes I get a heads-up from someone about a potential photo subject for my Flower a Day and I always find that exciting, especially at this time of the year when subjects are few and far between. I never know what I might see when I get there which heightens my excitement. The tiny flower today is not a result of this, but the receptionist at the clinic where I photographed this mini orchid did call me today to tell me of a new bloom on another plant in the clinic, inviting me to come and feature it. I love that some members of the community feel involved in my project and this makes it even more special to me. So thank you to all who have played a part in Flower a Day postings in some way and who continue to do so. We are all in this together and you all inspire me! Keep strong everyone. Love to all.
Today’s Flower a Day is like a flower in appearance, but in fact, as you know it’s more of a vegetable, though in this case ornamental. It was in the same display as the pink one I shared a few weeks ago. I loved the rich colour and those gorgeous textures. The advantage here is that with the cold temperatures there are no insects to munch on the leaves. I’m all for insects, but they do make a holey mess of a cabbage plant in the summer. I hope you enjoy this edible delectable today. Its leaves remind me of a rich flounced skirt twirling on a dance floor, seen, I suppose from the viewpoint of the floor. Is that weird? Anyway, enjoy the dance floor fun for a change today.
And today’s bonus post for today features a voracious bird visitor so I hope you will visit that post if you get a chance. It is here.