In college, I did a National Student Exchange to Alaska. It was just for one semester, the spring of 2003. As most of you know, I met Justin up there and stayed put. This meant that I had to finish college at the U of Alaska Anchroage. When I was ready to graduate, they told me I didn't have enough upper division credits at Potsdam to give me a degree. Since I was lacking 1 in Biology and 9 in History, I decided to skip the double major and just major in Bio. So I did an independent study for Potsdam Bio on the different trees and shrubs of Alaska, complete with pictures. I was really excited about this project. Well as excited as someone can get who just found out a month before being done that she could have totally skipped the Russian History senior seminar and 20 other upper division history credits from UAA. Anyway, I blame this project for my subsequent obsession with wildflowers. I drove around Alaska roads, hopping out to take pictures of trees and shrubs that I didn't have pictures of yet and couldn't help but take pictures of the wildflowers. Alaska has such concentrated sunlight that it does something to the flowers. It gives them a color intensity that is incredible. And as I took pictures, I decided to do wildflowers as well. I was on a mission. And this didn't lessen over the years with our move to Colorado (a whole new state of flowers to take pictures of! Squeal!!!) and then to New York.
Flowers in general are gorgeous. I love all flowers. Except those weird black varities. But wildflowers are an unexpected treat. If I plant petunias, I can't really get excited about finding a petunia. (Well I do sometimes if I grew them from seed. It just seems amazing that I did everything right.) With wildflowers, you can't really anticipate them or plan on where to go to see them. You just have to be on the lookout all the time. And it feels like SUCH an accomplishment to finally find a different flower. Like I have personally re-discovered this flower for the world.
NY Black Eyed Susan
NY-- Viper's Bugloss
Parker's Lawn--wild thyme--leaves smell awesome!
CO--rayless coneflower, commonly known as black person's toe. Old-timers call it something less politically correct.
CO--I THINK this is Jacob's Ladder, but it might be flax. Flax generally has only one flower per head and less pointed petals.
CO--Think it is a sulfur flower
Co, but in NY--Chicory, used to make coffee in the Civil War.
AZ--some kind of phlox I think. We were driving through the Four Corners area and it was so horridly desert-y and dry and ungreen that I insisted Justin stop so I could take a picture of this brave plant. I regretted it as soon as I stepped out of the AC into 110 degree heat.
AZ--Scarlet Globeflower at the Grand Canyon
NV--Lamoille Canyon, sunflower
And that is why I like them. Because they are fabulous. And so varied. And so beautiful.