Monday, June 20, 2005

Wild Flowers

Alaska state flower
Originally uploaded by GalleyWench.
Between my office and the nearest supermarket, there is nothing. Just busy roads, lined with pothole-filled pavements and grass verges peppered with rubbish thrown from passing cars.

Until today. Thanks to the weekend's sunshine the road to lunch is now splashed liberally with colour. Wild flowers have moved in. Marguerites are hiding the rubbish. Forget-me-nots are distracting people from the stubbly bald patches on the verges. Wild rose bushes leap out and point to the sky, yelling "Look, over there!" as you walk past the now-unnoticed steel crash barriers.

The trip to Tesco's has been transformed from a trudge to a pleasant stroll. As usual, I saw lots of things to photograph but didn't have my camera, so a quick tag search of flickr returned the beautiful flowers you see here.

I used to know the names of very nearly all the flowers I saw today. When I was little, maybe 6 or 7, I used to have a copy of the Observer's Book of Wild Flowers. I found it in a box in the attic, amongst my older siblings' discarded toys. I started collecting flowers with the obsession known only to little boys, pressing them carefully between the pages of this battered little book. For a couple of weeks in the 1970s I could have told you anything about any flowers in the UK.

Then I moved on to the next obsession (probably fuelled by my discovery of the Observer's Book of Aircraft), and all that knowledge got pushed out to make room. It went to join my Rubik's Cube solving expertise and long division ability.

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