Flowers – why are they so wonderful?

There’s more to Nature than mountains..flowers for instance, both wild flowers and those of the domesticated kind. I love them all.

The flowers on my living-room window sill.

The flowers on my living-room window sill.

And this is the time of year for flowers, the blooming time of year. Many trees have been in flower over the last month or two, but now it’s the turn of the flower per se..those small plants that go unnoticed until they flower..until they produce a flower.

Among the common wild flowers that change the landscape at this time of year is the poppy. They began to appear around Madrid ten days ago and now we have the first ones in Cercedilla.

Poppy explosion with small child, just up the road from my house..

Poppy explosion with small child, just up the road from my house..last year.

There are many other wild flowers that similarly seem to burst out of the ground with an energy..a force..which is truly cosmic. The potency of Spring..the guarantee of regeneration..the reassurance of cyclic continuity that the seasons offer us.

Spectacular daisy type flower which grows locally.

Spectacular daisy type flower which grows locally.

Amazing how entities so apparently delicate – even fragile – can express such strength and power.

In the mountains too, in the harsh ecosystems of the uplands, small and delicate flowers burst forth as the snows melt..these last weeks they have been abundant.

The snowcover rolls back..and little yellow flowers appear everywhere.

The snowcover rolls back..and little yellow flowers appear everywhere.

This year the main floral protagonist of Spring in the Sierra seems to be this small narcissus (Narcissus bulbocodium, locally known as narciso acampanado or narciso nival), it appears in considerable numbers every year but this year is to be found in profusion.

A closer look reveals.. little wild narcissus flowers.

A closer look reveals.. little wild narcissus flowers, Narcissus bulbocodium.

There’s also another narcissus which is plentiful this year, one which looks like a smaller version of the common daffodil. It’s Narcissus assoanus and i think it’s commonly known simply as narciso or sometimes junquillo menor.

Found not quit so high up, Narcissus assoanus.

Found not quite so high up,  Narcissus assoanus.

Surprisingly the flower which is usually the first and most abundant in the mountains at the end of Winter/start of Spring, the little crocus, Crocus carpetanus or azafrán serrano, has been somewhat less prevalent this year..but it’s still around!

Crocus carpetanus, perhaps the most emblematic flower of the Sierra de Guadarrama.

Crocus carpetanus, perhaps the most emblematic flower of the Sierra de Guadarrama.

Of course there are many other wild flowers in the mountains..and in the fields around our towns and cities..and in our parks and gardens along with the cultivated varieties. Indeed any spot that is not solidly covered by concrete or asphalt – and is not treated with herbicides or other modern gardening techniques – is likely to produce the natural miracle of a flower. Getting back to nature, what this blog is about, is something many people who live in an urban environment do thru flowers..whether they be flowers grown in a pot on the balcony, flowers admired in a public square or on a spot of wasteland on the way to work, or flowers bought at the florist and put in a vase on the dinner table. Flowers are cool..one way or the other.

But here’s the curious thing. Why do we humans find flowers so wonderful? Maybe because they bring colour into our lives..? But then so does advertising..or a visit to the supermarket. But flowers are natural. Hmm..tulips produced on an industrial scale in Holland or Africa for global exportation..how natural is that?  And biologically speaking, flowers are colourful and attractive in order to get the attention of bees..no? The bio-logic of a flower’s appearance is that it will draw pollinating bees to ensure the plant’s reproduction. A flower is not like a fruit which needs to be attractive to animals or birds. There is no reason why a flower should entice humans or animals in general. And yet we humans undoubtedly find flowers to be very beautiful. Just a happy coincidence of Nature?

(Or perhaps we are not so different from insects after all?!)

 

PS: nature photography freaks will have to forgive me for the quality of some of these flower fotos..the primitive nature of the instrument i usually carry does not allow me to take sharp shots of small floral phenomena. Sorry!

 

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About coldspringdays

Éireannach is ea mé, i mo chonaí insan Spáinn. Rugadh mé i lár na tuaithe, ar feadh blianta bhí mé ag teitheadh uaithi, i bhfad as an tuath, ach sa deireadh d'fhill mé, ar ais go dtí an tuath.. An Irishman am I, settled in Spain. Born was I in the middle of the country, for years I ran from it, far from the country, but in the end I returned, back to the country..
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