This weeks’ adventure is wildflowers. That is about the right timing for spring in most of the country…I don’t think if it were this time last year that the flowers would have sprung quite as much. Anyways, I managed to have all sorts of tricky questions about this flower on Sunday.
Earl, a Colorado native, immediately said that this was the states flower, a columbine. He eventually looked at a few more and realised that he was a little bit wrong. Allow me to demonstrate just how wrong he was…this is a Colorado Blue Columbine:
Can you see the difference? Sure, he eventually realised that the petals do something different, but he still thought that the two were the same… Concentrate on the two photos and realise just how much I had a giggle at him…
So the Colorado Blue Columbine I have seen many times and had absolutely no clue that it was the state flower. It was discovered in 1820 by a chap on Pikes Peak (note to self – hike that darned peak! Its easy when you can catch the train back down). About 1/3 of the seventy species of Columbine Aquilegia caerule are native to North America, but the specific flower which is the state flower is white inside and violet outside. [Isn’t it funny that the colour of a flower is described by another flower?] This is the State song [isn’t it funny that the state song is about getting high in a pot riddled state].
Where the snowy peaks gleam in the moonlight,
Above the dark forests of pine,
And the wild foaming waters dash onward,
Toward lands where the tropic stars shine;
Where the scream of the bold mountain eagle
Responds to the notes of the dove
Is the purple robed West, the land that is best,
The pioneer land that we love.
The bison is gone from the upland,
The deer from the canyon has fled,
The home of the wolf is deserted,
The antelope moans for his dead,
The war whoop re-echoes no longer,
The Indian’s only a name,
And the nymphs of the grove in their loneliness rove,
But the columbine blooms just the same.
– Rocky Mountain High by John Denver
[Isn’t it amusing how many things I’ve considered funny in this post?] I’m not sure whether I like the first or second verse best. Either way, amusing. This was written in 2007, so they really do know that there are no wild bison, and few deer in the canyons, etc. I wonder how many born-and-bred-Coloradans know their State song?
Anyways, back to the flowers. Do you know what most made Earl believe that the flower I was looking at wasn’t the Colorado Blue Columbine? The fact that there were so many of them! It is a rare and delicate flower which is protected by State law because too many people wanted them in their rock gardens. Tsk, bad people!
So there you have it – the flowers I saw are not the rare and delicate Colorado Blue Columbine. Any guesses what they really are?