The storm has moved on, leaving a bright blue sky. From our dining room window I can see the shining white of snow on Craig Crest.
It's a long time to spring. So, again I must rely upon memory flowers.
In late March my friend, Madaline, told me that the Pasque Flowers were coming into bloom by the Land's End Observatory, and that the road was passable with care. So Allen and I followed her lead. I'd found the plant in seed the previous summer and so I had a pretty good idea of where to look.
The name Pasque Flower (pronounced "pask") probably refers to the "passion" and is often associated with Easter. We follow the road to Land's End, cross the cattle guard, drive up the slope to a rocky level area. And I can see them from the car! Pale blue and pale lavender – gorgeous! The flowers, their furry-looking stems and leaves as well as the nodding, bell-shaped blossoms, glisten with raindrops. I know why plants have that "furry look." It's not to keep warm (as I've often facetiously said), but the hairs protect the plant from the intense solar radiation at this high elevation.
The most intriguing aspect of this native plant is that it looks entirely different when it goes to seed. Initially the flower is nestled in a set of leaves that surround the stem. The flower stalk continues to grow upward with its downturned flower. But then the flower turns upright! Soon the petals fall to expose the quarter-inch-long seeds ,each with an inch-long silky plume. In the fall I found the plants by the silky plumes, and here they are this spring not far from a melting snow bank.blog comments powered by Disqus