Neighborly generosity ruled on Friday evening - Sid, one of my fellow Master Gardeners and also a fellow Clearwater-ian (?!), had called that morning to tell me he had prairie larkspur (Delphinium carolinianum) blooming in his pasture. Did I want to take a look?
Did I want to take a look? Heck, yes, I wanted to take a look! I wanted to take a couple pictures, too, if he didn't mind. He didn't, so we set a time in the evening, when the light would be good, for me to drop by. At the appointed time, my camera and I made the journey over to Sid's house and off we went on a tour of exploration.
Sid is a descendant of one of the original homesteaders in the area. Even more amazing to me is that he and his wife live on land that was actually claimed and homesteaded by his pioneer ancestors. In a culture often characterized by rootlessness, Sid's roots run deep, right where he, himself, is planted.
The first thing Sid pointed out to me were three trees, 2 of which he planted as seedlings about 25 years ago.
Sid led me up to the catalpa so that I could take a couple photos of its flowers. They were high enough up in the tree that I couldn't get too close, but Sid snagged a couple individual blooms to let me take in their sweet, rich fragrance.
Then we came upon the prairie larkspur...
In the same general area as the larkspur were many seed heads of another prairie plant it had taken me a long time to find and recognize: Junegrass (Koeleria macrantha).
To be sure that I was identifying this grass properly, several years ago I'd finally purchased a couple plants at the Dyck Arboretum plant sale and placed them in my flower beds. They've done well there and it's become one of my favorite native grasses to garden with - not too tall, nicely clumping, with attractive seedheads that hang on throughout the year. It's one of the few cool season grasses in the prairie, too, so it greens up, flowers and seeds earlier than most other grasses here.
There were many other interesting plants in the prairie, but the last one I'll share with you was a glorious blue wild indigo (Baptisia australis).
Walking back up to the house, I happened to see an older blue baptisia bloom spike that was developing seed pods, highlighted against the sun. In the larger pods were what looked like drops of water - seeds just beginning to develop? I don't know, but the richness of the colors and the image made me happy, so I'm sharing it here with you.
There is so much beauty around us: in nature, in friends, and in communities. Here's a mental toast to that beauty in all its many forms!