Spring Flowers, Tucson, Part 2: yellow and purple meadows

What an astonishing show being put on in the Sonoran Desert right now! An explosion of yellow (Gordon’s Bladderpod [link to swbiodiversity.org]), punctuated by a purplish flower (Phacelia distans(?) or else Phacelia crenulata(?) [both links to Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center]), all the more precious for its sparing presence.

Robin Wall Kimmerer has a chapter in Braiding Sweetgrass (Amazon affiliate link) on the sublime beauty of a meadow full of yellow and purple flowers, called “Asters and Goldenrod.” She asked a question testing the limits of capital-s “Science” by trying to understand what exactly is so beautiful about a field of yellow and purple and flowers, to humans but particularly to pollinators. Her answer, which I won’t spoil by attempting to summarize here, stands as a testament to the power of combining “Science” with traditional ways of seeing the world, and reveals a profound truth that will, if you’re willing, allow you a truly spectacular way of seeing the world around you.

[I know, I’ve already tended to mention Kimmerer’s book basically every chance I get here; sorry not sorry! I won’t stop until everyone has read it with me. ——-> Oho! What about a Braiding Sweetgrass bookclub?!?! I can’t read more than one or two chapters at a time because it’s the kind of profundity that tends to leave me rather weepy (so be warned: I would definitely cry a few times every club-meeting lmao), so it would have to be a group that discusses the book chapter by chapter. Just a random idea, but seemingly a good one.]

Check out the other pictures I’ve posted of Tucson’s bloom this spring:

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