Mystery Flora: Latebloomers

Every spring, the rhodies fill Seattle with bursts of riotous color. But they’re usually gone by early summer, and then they’re just great green blobs again.

I’d not realized some of them lag behind. But as I was taking a turn round the buildings in search of my car recently (which had to be parked somewhere in Timbuktu because of the pavement resealing), I encountered some latebloomers.

Mystery Flower I

I’m not sure if this is typical – it’s been a rather warm fall, but I wouldn’t expect warm enough to confuse rhodies. Is there a species out there that likes it late?

Mystery Flower II

It’s nice to see a little reminder of early summer blooming vigorously on the grounds.

Mystery Flower III

Rhodies always make me think of the tropics. I look at those bursts and think of swaying palms and leis and fruity cocktails with flowers stuck in sipped on a balmy beach.

Mystery Flower IV

And I always think of fall as a dying season, but here we have new life budding out. Nice, that.

These weren’t the only ones. I found another sort of rhodie blooming away on a ramble a few days later.

Mystery Flower V

These are more slender, a little dainty, but still rhodies, I believe. I’ve learnt there are endless types of rhodies, some that don’t even look much like rhodies.

Mystery Flower VI

These two species seem to have freckles in common. I love that little splash of spots on a rhodie’s petals.

Mystery Flower VII

Rhodies are quite fun to photograph – especially with a good macro mode. I’m glad I got to play with them one last time.

Mystery Flower VIII

And when you have sunlight and a freshly-blackened parking lot to use as a canvas…

Mystery Flower IX

Well, sometimes you’ve just gotta twist yourself into a pretzel in order to get a certain shot. The rhodies deserve it. Especially those kind enough to give us that last burst of beauty before the cold and the storm and the rain.