Hovering around the flowers

Hummingbirds are attracted to the bright red color of the cardinal flower.  From these delicate, trumpet-shaped flowers, the hummingbird receives sweet nectar.  In return, the cardinal flower depends on the hummingbird for pollination.

Across the downs a hummingbird
Came dipping through the bowers,
He pivoted on emptiness
To scrutinize the flowers.
~Nathalia Crane

Viceroy

We saw these viceroy butterflies flitting about in a garden close to the lake.  Similar to the monarch in appearance, one way to distinguish the viceroy from the monarch is by the visible black line that runs across its hind wings.

“Butterflies … flowers that fly and all but sing.”  ~Robert Frost

Iris time

Around the first week of May, many gardens in Tennessee come alive with showy flowers having a variety of colors and intricate details.  The greatly anticipated iris season only lasts a few weeks.  Though the life of the blooms are short-lived, the beauty and smell of the flowers linger in the mind until the next iris season rolls around.

On the first weekend in May, a town near us hosts an Iris Festival flower show.  This year, as always, we saw a number of beautiful varieties.

“There’s a picture there that lives in memory when it’s Iris time in Tennessee”  ~Willa Waid Newman

Trumpet Daffodils

One day earlier this week the sun was shining, the temperature was mild, and it was a perfect occasion for an afternoon stroll.  I spotted a number of wild daffodils in bloom along our country road.  Nothing brightens the disposition like seeing their little yellow heads bobbing in the wind.

“No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.”  ~Hal Borland

Seeing yellow

Leaves aren’t the only yellow to be seen in autumn.  Here are a few others that I came across during September and October.

“It is the color closest to light. In its utmost purity it always implies the nature of brightness and has a cheerful, serene, gently stimulating character.  Hence, experience teaches us that yellow makes a thoroughly warm and comforting impression.  With yellow the eye rejoices, the heart expands, the spirit is cheered and we immediately feel warmed.  Many people feel an inclination to laugh when looking through a yellow glass.”  ~Johann von Goethe

The sunflower

The sunflower — one of my favorite flowers.  These beauties were growing in a garden at a resort on Reelfoot Lake.  They really seemed to be attracting the bees and goldfinch.

Always remember the sunflower
Whose face looks toward the sun.
She drinks his beauty in her face
And like him she becomes …
~L. Gayle Orf

Wildflowers

Here are a variety of wildflowers which pepper the fields and country roads in our area during the spring and summer months.  Wildflowers not only brighten the landscape, but also provide habitat for birds and insects and food for many animals.

“Flowers are the music of the ground
From earth’s lips spoken without sound.”
~Edwin Curran