|Ironweed or wild butterfly weed|
Each summer I take the kids down to a little stream and teach them how to catch crayfish, frogs and salamanders. Last year they also routinely found a lovely old wood tortoise who didn’t seem to mind one bit being handled by a lot of kids. That tortoise was a big hit. The whole point is for the kids to enjoy themselves outdoors and experience a little bit of what goes on beyond their video game consoles. It would be nice to think that the experience whets their little appetites for more such experiences. That’s probably wishful thinking on my part, but I do what I can in the short amount of time I have with them to broaden their horizons a bit.
Anyway, yesterday the hike and critter-catching session was cancelled. I’m sure the critters were hiding from the weather, too. This morning the sky was crystal clear. Except for the leftover puddles, I couldn’t have guessed that the day before was such a washout.
Ironweed, or wild butterfly weed, is just starting to bloom along the forest edges, I noticed. The leaves and tiny flowers on this one still carry the drops of yesterday’s rain. Do I call every flower I photograph my favorite? I think I do, and when I am photographing one that one is my favorite. I know I particularly appreciate the pink-purple shade of ironweed and its showy size. If I do have a flower preference it’s for anything of strong color and good size. I’m not a huge fan of teeny, tiny little flowers. I like something with a strong sense of its own importance. Ironweed is one of those.