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Posts Tagged ‘lupins’

wildflowers

Have you ever entered a clearing in a forest and suddenly discovered something so unexpectedly beautiful that it almost seemed otherworldly?  This happened to me this morning.  One moment I was on a familiar trail, and the next, I was stepping into unknown territory, lured by wildflowers on the edge of a small meadow.

field of flowers

It was very early morning, and in the twilight, the lupins looked like a blue haze over the green meadow grasses.  I wondered how many people had come upon this place at different times and felt a similar sense of awe.

gnarly tree

In one corner, a gnarly tree, bare of leaves, looked over the clearing with its arms raised in exclamation.  It had likely seen this lovely display on numerous occasions during its lifetime.  But such loveliness never fails to impress, regardless of how many times one sees it.  Our long, harsh winters work hard to erase the memory of such visions from one year to the next. 

Such sights in late spring refresh the spirit and are well worth the effort of trodding off the beaten track into unknown territory.  In more places than one can imagine, fields of wildflowers are waiting to be discovered.  God has built them.  Will we come?

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water drops on lupins

Water droplets sparkle on Lupin leaves at dawn along the Salt Marsh Trail.  Surface tension and the strong attraction of water molecules to one another makes a spherical shape the easiest one for them to rest in.

From the very large to the very small, circles and spheres are ubiquitous shapes in nature.  Heavenly bodies such as the moon and stars are spherical.  Even our earth is in this shape.  So are our eyeballs,  the eggs of many species and some seeds.  Many flowers also follow this design.  Their variety is endless, despite their similar shape.

urchin

Sea urchin shells found on Nova Scotia beaches resemble flattened spheres.  It’s difficult to find ones that are still intact.  The circular shell is delicate and very easily broken by seagulls and waves bashing them against the rocks. 

Drawn as a line, a circle appears to have no beginning or end.  As a symbol, it’s no wonder that it’s used to represent eternity and unity.

The circle and the 3D sphere often form exquisite patterns, many of which are building blocks for larger things.  In previous weeks I’ve written about the branch, the spiral and the meander

Next Saturday, I’ll explore one more shape found in nature as a lead-up to a Summer Scavenger Hunt.  Details of the hunt to be disclosed June 20th, Midsummer’s Eve.

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sprucecones

Purple haze all in my brain
Lately things just don’t seem the same
Actin’ funny, but I don’t know why
‘Scuse me while I kiss the sky
~ Jimi Hendrix

purple starfishWith less than three weeks left to go before Midsummer’s Eve, spring is in full swing.  The days aren’t as warm as we’d like yet, but summer is on the doorstep.  The color purple caught my eye today on spruce cones along the Salt Marsh Trail.  It won’t be long before their light purple color will darken and eventually change to brown.  Right now, their hue contrasts nicely with the fresh light green of the new growth.  

Starfish can often be spotted from the first couple of bridges along the trail.  Today I was able to catch a glimpse of one with its arms stretched out evenly  in the water.  Live, local starfish have a purple cast that’s barely discernible on sun-dried specimens found along the seashore. 

violets

Following the lead of wild ones in the grass, the deeper purple tame violets have emerged in the flower bed.  Their brilliant color will fade with the summer’s heat. 

lupinsPurple lupins are a common sight along the side of the road and in gardens in Nova Scotia.   Though they’re also found in shades of pink and white, the purple ones seem to dominate.

Purple is a color associated with spirituality, mystery and royalty.  During different periods in history, its use in clothing has been restricted to either nobility or an elite class of individuals.  It can be created by a variety of methods using lichens, the roots of madder plants or murex shells, with the latter producing the most brilliant hue.  In painting, it was a favorite of Vincent Van Gogh who often juxtaposed it with yellow for maximum effect.

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