March 19, 2012

The Iris are Coming

The calendar has not named the season spring yet, but the iris are not letting that stop them. They are budding, rising, opening their parachutes and blossoming, curved petals floating above stalks now nearly four feet tall. I receive great joy from watching this process, one that has fascinated me since childhood. 

Those buds look so flat, so incapable of delivering what is to come. Bud and bloom change nearly hourly. I take breaks from my work so I can see what the iris have done most recently. I think of them at times as the silent ninjas of the flower world. In silence and stealth, their slices of leaves reveal hooded buds--not more than bumps when they begin. The buds become tight swirls of color, petals spun tightly around their centers, and then open into a shape half-lantern, part-parachute, part temple, every centimeter looking hand-colored as though by a tiny brush held by a Japanese master.

I admire more than their beauty, though. Iris are tough. They survive extreme heat. They flower even when they are not well-cared for or well-watered. Drive by an old house, its yard in disrepair, a dead tree here, scraggly bushes there, and in a corner there will be a clump of iris, lifting their golden heads to the sun, petals stirring in a soft breeze, looking as though the flower might become a butterfly and take flight. They remind me never to make the mistake of  thinking that delicacy is devoid of strength.

All photos, Ysabel de la Rosa


Traveler Literary Gnome said...


jan said...

Wonderful shots .. Wonderful thoughts.