Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Along with April showers, the month of April also brings a profusion of Queen Anne's Lace to Mississippi's roadsides. I had been looking forward to capturing pictures of the season's first blossoms, so you can imagine my frustration and dismay when I discovered that the huge mowing machines had been at work in my favorite "Queen Anne's Lace-picture-taking-place," and had cut down every single flower!
Be that as it may, the story has a happy ending. This past weekend, my husband and I passed by my "Queen Anne's Lace" place and I was delighted to see a sprinkling of little white flowers gracefully blowing in the breeze.
I couldn't believe they came back, and was bound and determined to capture them in pictures before the mowers leveled them again.
Although they were not as plentiful or as "lush" as I was hoping ... and even though there was a slight breeze stirring amongst the blossoms and the bright mid-morning sunlight was not ideal for taking photos (especially of white flowers) ... I managed to capture a few pictures I felt were worthy of keeping.
I did a little research on Queen Anne's Lace and learned that it originated in Europe, where it was used in old Victorian gardens. It is also known as "Wild Carrot," and can be found growing wild along roadsides almost anywhere in America.
Queen Anne's Lace is best known for its flowers, which are tiny and white, blooming in lacy, flat-topped clusters which resemble little doilies.
Curiously, at the center of the flower heads there is a tiny floret, which is deep purple in color.
No one knows for sure what the function of the floret might be, but English tradition says it is a drop of blood that fell from Anne's finger when she pricked it making lace. More than likely, the colored flower part serves as a target for potential pollinators.
I found it interesting that some of the flower heads didn't have florets, or at least they weren't easily visible.
Perhaps the flowers weren't as mature as the blooms with the florets.
I was fascinated by the florets and hoped to capture some "up close and personal" pictures of them, in spite of the breeze causing them to sway back and forth on their long, graceful stems.
Some of the florets reminded me of tiny purple rosebuds, and others made me think of miniature butterfly wings.
I was pleased to capture this close-up shot which shows the tiny stem of a floret ...
As with most flowers, I discovered that the underside of Queen Anne's Lace is as beautiful and interesting as the topside ...
Isn't that amazing!
I hope you enjoyed seeing these beautiful wildflowers from a little different perspective, perhaps, than just seeing them from a car window as you pass them on the side of a road somewhere. I'm so glad I was able to capture them in pictures, far away from the blades of the mowing machines ... forever preserved in my photo albums, as surely as if they were pressed between the yellowing pages of an old book.