Thursday, January 11, 2007

Is It Spring Yet?

April flowers, cheer winter hours. (Iberis sempervirens)
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"White ... is not a mere absence of color; it is a shining and affirmative thing, as fierce as red, as definite as black ... God paints in many colors; but He never paints so gorgeously, I had almost said so gaudily, as when He paints in white."
~ G. K. Chesterton
White is not the absence of color, but rather the combination of all color; at least in the physics of light. It brightens other colors when used as a background; it creates pastels when blended with blue or red or yellow or mixtures of the three. White is a blank canvas waiting for the artist's stroke or a page, anticipating the writer's first words. It is the blinding hot light from the summer sun and the pale cool glow of the full moon. White is the picket fence around the home of our dreams and the foaming caps of the sailor's ocean; it fills goose feather pillows and is pulled out of a magician's hat. White scurries across the sky as fluffy floating clouds and hangs suspended in mid-air in the contrails of passing jets.

And white is flowers. Orchids, lily, four o'clocks, magnolia, tulips, roses, hyacinths, iris, daisies, gladiola, dogwood, azaleas and gardenias; the list goes on and on. Perhaps these are Nasturtium officinale or Watercress but I'm not really sure. They bloom in late April and on into May around here. I love the tiny white flowers and the touch of yellow in the center. Perhaps Judy knows their name, as she knows everything about flowers. We have had no snow, no real ice to speak of and only a rare night cold enough to produce frost on the windshield; so flowers were the way to go. Besides, I can always use a pick-me-up for winter, when the most color we have are stray dandelions and early chickweed, can't you?

Update: AC suggested that these might be Candytuft and I think she is correct. There are several species but Iberis sempervirens fits the size, color and shape of the flower clusters. It also is said to be a low growing groundcover that will survive in poor soil and the black clay around here seems to support it nicely. Thanks AC. I do so love a mystery solved.

Submission for Thursday Challenge topic "white". (end of post)

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