Gloomy northern skies and dreams of fynbos flowers
Sitting in an office in Stockholm on a gloomy day it is hard to imagine the glories of Saturday morning’s run. The light, the warmth, the howling wind. Seamus and Meabh stand face on, heads up, loving the feel of the wind ruffling their coats. As ever there is something new to see – this gorgeous Tritonia undulata which has emerged in quite a few places. It’s very distinctive and very lovely, what a treasure to find on a Sunday morning.
I stopped to try and capture a good picture of it of course, and as I trotted on up the hill I reflected on how much less fit I am than I was when I started this blog. You would think that blogging what I see when I’m out on a run would get me out running more. But the problem is that my runs are longer – I can never resist a new flower, especially as anything that is a bulb may be gone by tomorrow, and each picture takes a few minutes as I try to find the best angle and the best light. Sometimes, perversely, that even puts me off from going out at all because I don’t have the time I need to do a proper run and photograph the flowers as well. It will be an ongoing dilema and really, as with so many problems in one’s life could probably be solved if I got up earlier…
One of the flowers that inspired me to start the blog has suddenly emerged. It’s known as the comb flower, Micranthus junceus, and is one of the first that I identified because of its distinctive shape and pretty blue flowers.
As I do the research and leaf through the books hunting for flowers, inevitably one passes stunning flowers in the book and thinks – “never seen that one, I wonder if it grows on this mountain.” This Roella ciliata is such a flower with its gorgeous lilac-blue and inky collar. I spotted it out of the corner of my eye as we ran down one of the paths in the forest and felt like an excited hunter who has finally found a screcretive and exclusive quarry.
Much more common is this butterfly lily, the splendidly named Wachendorphia paniculata I posted it not long ago, but can’t resist posting this lovely example which is growing along the drive and which looked particularly fine against the sandstone wall.
Finally a couple of flowering bulbs that I haven’t identified, one blue, one yellow. The blue one has a twisting spike out of which the flowers grow and the yellow one grows tightly out of its stalk like a delphinium. I haven’t been able to identify them in the general fynbos books and I really need a night in with the encyclopaedia of fynbos bulbs to see if I can identify these and a couple of others that we still have not named. Sometimes it’s just a matter of a better photograph and all is revealed. A good project for hot summer nights when the pressure of new flowers has eased and we will start a job of identifying and cataloging what we’ve found.