Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Variations on a Theme of Hepatica

On Monday, I found only one Hepatica blooming in the Skidmore woods.  Today,  after two more days of warmth, they were blooming almost everywhere I looked, with many more yet to come. Hepaticas are such luminous flowers, with shimmering sepals in many shades from deepest purple to pale lavender or pink to pristine white.   Here's just a sampling of what I saw.

See how furry the buds and stems are, as if to keep the plants warm through these still-cold nights.

The flowers are luminous, iridescent, even,  so that I have to shut down the exposure severely in order to capture any detail at all.  As a consequence, the background recedes into darkness and the flowers seem to float aloft and glow as if lit from within.

The deep green of the moss provided a lovely foil for the radiant purple of this solitary bloom.

Although the leaves were formed last spring and have weathered the winter under the snow, they still look relatively fresh, and many are colored magenta or purple as well as green.  Here is a purple leaf.

And here is a deep magenta one.

Can you see how the sepals sparkle when lit up by the sun?

And in the shade, the flowers seem to glow with a pearly light.

Some flowers were the palest of pinks.

Other flowers were a deep rich purple.

Still others were the brightest of whites, set off by a lime-green center.

Wait a minute!  This is NOT a Hepatica!  No, but this dainty English Violet was also blooming today, our earliest of our violets to bloom.  Actually, it's not technically "ours," since this is an introduced species of violet, but who wouldn't welcome it to our shores, especially since it's as fragrant as its scientific name (Viola odorata) suggests.


The Furry Gnome said...

Incredible detail in those photos!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful, Jackie! You teach us how to see.... thanks!

Woody Meristem said...

Very nice photos -- even though we're south of you our hepaticas haven't begun to open yet.