Photography And Half-Thoughts By Mitchell Hegman

...because some of it is pretty and some of it is not.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Pasqueflowers (Studies in Light)

Most living things come softly to hard sunlight.  Pasqueflowers are no different.  They are soft on the eye and soft to the touch.  Pasqueflowers, sometimes referred to as prairie crocus, are some of your more quiet neighbors.  They are not particularly loud in color and do not aspire to overtake the landscape with explosive clusters of blossoms.  Instead, they hold aloft a single dim lantern on each stem.  The fifty-cent piece sized blossoms may reach heights of a foot or more, but are just as likely to remain close to the ground.  The color of the flower may range from bluish to purple.
The other day, while on a drive to the top of Hogback Mountain, a dozen or so miles as the crow flies from my house, that girl, my sister, my brother-in-law, and I came upon a patch of pasueflowers.  We were at an elevation near 8,000 feet.  The flowers were growing amid checkerboards of light and shadow at the feet of some weather-twisted whitebark pine.  The colors were muted enough we might have easily missed them if focusing on nearby stands of red paintbrush.  I stopped the truck so all of us could pile out and take a closer look.
Posted today are some studies I made of these pasqueflowers emerging from the shadows.
A word of caution: the fuzzy leaves and stems of pasqueflowers may irritate your skin and all parts of this wildflower are poisonous if ingested.  One of the books I often refer to when identifying flowers noted that some Native American tribes crushed the leaves of this plant and applied them to rheumatic joints as a counter-irritant.
--Mitchell Hegman