Sunday, April 13, 2014

Spring showers...

Lead to snow here in Colorado (and eventually spring flowers). It never fails. We need the moisture, no doubt about it but I am ready for spring and I've been reveling in the early blooms I've seen here and there. Today while the snow is falling outside my window, I was editing some of the pictures I took last year to brighten a gloomy day.
 A wild columbine- so rare to spot. It's scientific name: "Aquilegia (common names: Granny's Bonnet or Columbine) is a genus of about 60-70 species of perennial plants that are found in meadowswoodlands, and at higher altitudes throughout the Northern Hemisphere, known for the spurred petals of their flowers." The Colorado Blue Columbine (A. caerulea) is the official state flower of Colorado.* 
There is of course a whole sad reference to the Columbine which I won't recount here but the flower is undeserving of such remembrance. It is a beautiful, graceful flower that graces the landscape it dwells in. 
 A wild rose- "Rosa arkansana (Prairie Rose or Wild Prairie Rosesyn. R. pratincolaR. suffulta,R. suffulta var. relicta) is a species of rose native to a large area of central North America, between the Appalachian and Rocky Mountains from AlbertaManitoba, and Saskatchewan south to New MexicoTexas and Indiana."*

The rose has a whole section in Wikipedia which discuses it's symbolism but just briefly I thought it's classic symbolism was interesting. Isis was just one of the goddesses to whom the rose was sacred. Her rose appears in the late classical allegorical novel The Golden Ass as "the sweet Rose of reason and virtue" and saves the hero from his bewitched life in the form of a donkey. 

The ancient Greeks identified the rose with the goddess of love, Aphrodite as did the Romans with their goddess of love, Venus. "In Rome a wild rose would be placed on the door of a room where secret or confidential matters were discussed. The phrase sub rosa, or "under the rose", means to keep a secret — derived from this ancient Roman practice."*
And this is a beautiful flower we have growing in our front garden- the Poppy. "Poppies are herbaceous plants, often grown for their colourful flowers. One species of poppy, Papaver somniferum produces edible seeds, and is also the source of the crude drug opium which contains powerful medicinal alkaloids such as morphine and has been used since ancient time as analgesic and narcotic medininal and recreational drugs."* Not this one though. It's a common poppy and simply provides beauty. 

However, reading on...  "Poppies have long been used as a symbol of sleep, peace, and death: Sleep because of the opium extracted from them, and death because of the common blood-red color of the red poppy in particular. In Greek and Roman myths, poppies were used as offerings to the dead. Poppies used as emblems on tombstones symbolize eternal sleep. This symbolism was evoked in the children's novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, in which a magical poppy field threatened to make the protagonists sleep forever.
A second interpretation of poppies in Classical mythology is that the bright scarlet colour signifies a promise of resurrection after death."*



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