art versus science
Are we going forward by going backward? I can't tell. Although recently, perhaps within the last five years, I have been fascinated with so many things usually confined to the spectrum of science (as opposed to the cultural classification of the arts). Specialization / classification / segregation: whose problem is it really?

Browsing through an arts email today, I came across an interesting
call for artwork.

Just prior to this, I had just been perusing the Internet for web sites, which discuss wild irises. Visual hints of the coming spring crop were in abundance this morning, showing subtle tell tale blades of green in the duff. My dog and I were pleased to know that the new crop is soon to emerge.

Can artists be scientists? A part of me wants to think so, while another part of me is annoyed with the prospect. Leonardo DaVinci was… and Brunelleschi too. In those cases however, methinks it was simply a manifestation of the times. They lived in an era of emerging mysteries. As for me, here and now in 2005, my right brain trips me up whenever I try to get too particular with what is simply wondrous and spectacular. I so hate to lose that awe with too much analysis. For me, so much scrutiny and obsession with minute details tends to detract from the plain, yet remarkable experience of observing and treasuring this wild phenomenon.

This morning, I was out walking with my dog and we saw the hints of the forthcoming annual crop of wild irises. The leaves of these fragile plants show themselves first as blades of what would appear to be grass. Over the past 15 years, I have memorized the unusual locations where these precious little flowers will appear and then just as quickly, disappear.

deep blue

Not sure when they will appear this year, as every season is different and these precious plant creatures are so fragile that they often come and go before anyone ever sees them (except my dog and me, as we always wait for the arrival with private excitement / baited dog breath). Particularly here, in a remote corner of far northern California, where the growing season is so volatile and unpredictable, these fabulous little irises bloom in short, sweet windows.

Not being a scientist or a botanist, I strive to attach a name or names with the various images of these gorgeous little flowers.


I do know that it is fruitless to pick them, they are not happy in a vase. And since they have such a short lifespan, I have chosen never to remove them from their select spots of origin. They seem to be finicky; to prefer living in very special little crannies. And so they should.

Last year was a particularly abundant season here and we had luscious little stands of the irises everywhere... I saw them in places where they had never surfaced before. There are so many nooks and crannies here, both in the forests and in the open fields... and so they pop up in tiny little micro climates, with a broad variety of colors and sizes. Choice of location is probably dependent upon the conditions (soil ph, amount of sun or shade and water sources and so forth).


The previous spring (2004), I swear that I saw every possible color combination, with little clusters occurring all over the place, somewhere in the two plus miles between my house and the bridge that we visit every morning on our walks. I took tons of photos, in my attempt to preserve this wonderful, secret phenomenon. I am now wondering where they will emerge this year, as we are having a humid and slow arriving spring, so it is not clear if there will be a bumper crop this time around. The blades of their base are already peeping through the duff, though. They look like assorted blades of grass to the untrained eye, but we know that flowers will soon be springing up among them.

I have to wonder if any of the varieties that my dog and I have discovered, are among the endangered species, as we also have all sorts of other creatures (lizards and bugs and birds etc) living among us that have been labeled as being "endangered", by experts living in the more developed world. :).


Makes me curious...

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