In 1966, there was a movie starring Clint Eastwood called The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. Of course, Clint played the part of "the good" guy, with Lee Van Cleef playing "the bad" guy, and Eli Wallach portraying "the ugly" guy.
For some reason, that movie title came to mind the other day when I was taking pictures, and it occurred to me that the adjectives "good, bad, and ugly" can also relate to Nature. But then, again, perhaps it's just a matter of how we perceive things.
For instance, I'm sure we all think of pretty flowers and butterflies as being "GOOD things."
And I'm sure we would all agree that this is a "BAD" plant:
Yes, that's Poison Ivy. Notice that it has three leaves. Until I saw that photo, I thought I had some great pictures of poison ivy, but upon doing some research for this post, I discovered that I have some great pictures of Virginia Creeper instead.
I'm glad to know that that's not poison ivy, because it's in a flower bed on the side of our house. Just looking at that vine when I took the pictures (thinking it was poison ivy), made me shudder to imagine what suffering one drop of oil from those pretty little leaf buds could cause someone who is allergic to poison ivy (like me). Remember: "Leaves of three, let it be!"
Now that I've covered "The Good" and "The Bad," that brings us to "The Ugly."
This is the time of year when wildflowers start springing up all along the roadsides, and what a lovely sight they are to behold. However, while traveling on the Natchez Trace a couple of days ago, I noticed patches of Thistle growing amongst the clover and pretty yellow wildflowers.
I couldn't resist stopping to get a closer look at them through my camera lens, and I was so glad I did.
I know you're probably thinking that thistle is, indeed, ugly, and has no redeeming qualities ... but let's take a closer look.
The core of the thistle reminds me of a birdcage surrounding and protecting the seed pod (isn't God an awesome Creator!)
I have to admit that at first glance, the thistle is certainly not what you'd call pretty, and even seems to detract from the beauty of the other wildflowers. But, after seeing it up close, I found it to be beautiful, too ... in its own prickly way.
If there's one thing I learned from writing this post (other than Virginia Creeper is not poison ivy), it's that beauty is, indeed, in the eye of the beholder ... and, just like with people and books, sometimes you can't "judge a plant by its cover." No matter how "ugly" a plant may appear to be on the outside, they all have an inner beauty waiting to be discovered ... you just have to look for it.