Yellow Iris Variations

From “Flower-de-luce” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in The RHS Book of Flower Poetry and Prose by the Royal Horticultural Society:

Thou art the iris, fair among the fairest,
Who, armed with golden rod,
And wingéd with the celestial azure, bearest
The message of some god.

O! flower-de-luce, bloom on, and let the river
Linger to kiss thy feet!
O! flower of song, bloom on, and make for ever
The world more fair and sweet.

My first spring iris sighting for 2022 occurred in mid-April, where I stumpled upon these two large yellow beauties growing all by themselves in front of a thicket of boxwood hedges, set up from ground level behind one of the many stone walls at Oakland Cemetery’s Gardens.

I couldn’t get too close without climbing over the wall (not an activity appreciated by the caretakers, for sure) so I took these with a zoom lens stretched out to 300mm. Even at that zoom level, the lens captured a lot of detail: the first two in each trio are the original photos, and the third is a very close-in crop of the second image that I created in Lightroom. Despite the big zooms (both the lens and the crop), I’m pretty satisfied with the texture and color that made it into the final images.

The first two galleries below are followed by the same images on black backgrounds (shades of yellow and orange do so well on black); and, finally, the same images converted to black and white with the same level of silver tone added to each one, which seems to reveal the translucence of the flower petals even better than the color images.

Thanks for taking a look!

A Collection of Daffodils (4 of 4)

From “To Daffodils” by Robert Herrick in The RHS Book of Garden Verse by the Royal Horticultural Society:

Fair Daffodils, we weep to see
You haste away so soon;
As yet the early-rising sun
Has not attain’d his noon.
Stay, stay,
Until the hasting day
Has run
But to the even-song;
And, having pray’d together, we
Will go with you along.

We have short time to stay, as you,
We have as short a spring;
As quick a growth to meet decay,
As you, or anything.
We die
As your hours do, and dry
Like to the summer’s rain;
Or as the pearls of morning’s dew,
Ne’er to be found again.

As a fitting marker for the last of this year’s series of daffodil photos, I found a poem (see up top) with the end of Daffodil Season as its theme. I may find a few more blooms around town — and if I do, I’ll ask them to pose for me — but as the pre-summer heat has started moving in (already!), they are likely “ne’er to be found again” as Herrick says in his poem… at least, not until next year.

This is the fourth of four posts featuring my 2022 daffodil photos. The previous posts are:

A Collection of Daffodils (1 of 4);

A Collection of Daffodils (2 of 4);

A Collection of Daffodils (3 of 4).

Next up: camellia or cherry blossoms or dogwoods or irises or plum blossoms or tulips or… I haven’t decided yet!


Thanks for taking a look!

A Collection of Daffodils (3 of 4)

From Daffodil: The Remarkable Story of the World’s Most Popular Spring Flower by Noel Kingsbury and Jo Whitworth:

“Daffodils have been a symbol of spring and rebirth in many cultures, not just because that is when they flower, but because of their persistence in coming back every year….

“As a spring flower, it is no surprise that daffodils are seen as a symbol of rebirth and new life in many different cultures. In China what are called paperwhites in English (various forms of
Narcissus papyraceus) are used to celebrate Spring Festival (New Year), the most important Chinese festival, around late January or early February. Traditionally, bulbs are grown without soil, set out on pebbles in shallow plates with their roots growing down into water in the bottom of the plate….

“In western and central Europe, daffodils are often used to adorn churches as part of celebrations of spring and the resurrection of Christ. In Medieval Christian art, the flower is used as a symbol of paradise, and triumph over death; it is often associated with the Virgin Mary. In the Muslim Middle East it may, somewhat paradoxically, be seen as a symbol of death and planted on graves, because its growth in spring reminds people of the life to come. In classical Arabic poetry, Poeticus daffodils are seen as having ‘eyes’ and therefore of being the eyes of the garden as well as being symbols of love, longing, and desire….”

This is the third of four posts featuring my photographs of this spring’s daffodils. The first post is A Collection of Daffodils (1 of 4); and the second post is A Collection of Daffodils (2 of 4).

Thanks for taking a look!