Mystery Flora: Flowers Near Sunset

It’s that time o’ year when November, December, January, February and March showers have brought nearly-April flowers. And occasionally, it even stops raining long enough to go out and enjoy them. B and I had an opportunity for a nice walk near sunset, when the rich sunlight sneaked in below the cloud cover, and I could bring the camera out without fear of water damage.

You may have already identified some of these. It’s getting to where I can’t keep all the idents in my head – I’ll have to start an online book of some sort where we can organize everything. Oh, and if you lot want to send me flowers, you know I’m never going to refuse them! You can send your beautiful flowers, mystery or known, to dhunterauthor at gmail, if you wish to perhaps someday see them featured right here on this blog.

Mystery Flowers I

Mystery Flowers I

These fantastic white flowers grow on short, thin little trees all over the place. They seem quite popular, and one can see why. They burst out just when the first timid green leaves are appearing, and while they’re winter-colored, you know they mean winter is a memory, and all soon will be warmth and sunshine.

Mystery Flowers II

Mystery Flowers II

I almost feel like I’m walking in to a wedding when I see them. It certainly seems like they’re decorating the place for a celebration.

Just beyond them are some shrubberies, and these are bursting out in all sorts of sunshine color, and smell vaguely nice.

Mystery Flowers III

Mystery Flowers III

You see how green that grass is? That’s how it is round here, all winter long. Barely any of it gets brown. So much different than our grass in Arizona, where it spent winter dead and brown, then had a brief sprint toward being green in spring, before getting burnt brown in the summertime, followed by maybe a week or so of green shoots in the fall before going dormant for winter again. Stuff’s aggressively green here. Even when we have a week or so of freezing temperatures, it’s too stubborn to do more than get a little tan round the edges.

Mystery Flowers IV

Mystery Flowers IV

There we go. If we crouch down and stare up through the shrubbery and squint just right, we can pretend that there’s brilliant lovely sunshine in those relentless storm clouds.

Mystery Flowers V

Mystery Flowers V

And another up through the shrubbery, because I like that. The sky makes a fine canvas.

So here’s one I know you’ve identified in the past, and someday I’ll find where. It’s that weird rhodie with the tiny bell-shaped clusters of flowers. There’s one growing by the sidewalk, vigorous as you please.

Strange rhodie. This is a cluster of drooping white bell-shaped flowers, with a bit of sidewalk and storm clouds in the background.

Strange rhodie

I love the fact that clever people can cleverly cross-breed and selectively breed and whatever else it is they do to fiddle with plant genes until you end up with wonderful mutants with perfect rhodie leaves and flowers that seem to belong to something else entirely.

Weird rhodie with a view of the leaves.

Weird rhodie with a view of the leaves.

I also took a few more of the lovely magnolia, which is blooming vigorously, all but a few buds blown.

Our wonderoo pink magnolia. Image shows a bud beginning to unfurl.

Our wonderoo pink magnolia.

Here’s another opening bud, with a neat bit of flower sort of cut off to the left.

More wonderoo pink magnolia.

More wonderoo pink magnolia.

I’ll have to go back and have a closer look. Didn’t notice that spiky bit there until I was looking at the pictures. B and I try to keep moving at a good clip so as to engage in actual exercise on our walks.

Then, after admiring all the flowers, we went back to my place and watched a bunch of mixed martial arts dudes battle it out. Believe it or not, enormous bouquets of flowers were involved. And I mean enormous even in relation to tall, thick heavyweights. And I got to see Ken Shamrock for the first time. I’d heard of him, of course, but he was well before my MMA-watching time. I knew he’d been one hell of a fighter and ran a great gym, but I didn’t know that back in 2001, he looked like Christian Bale in profile and Wolverine when viewed from the front. I geeked out for a minute.

And yes, MMA is a brutal sport, but I’ve rarely seen so many men hug each other so much. There’s a certain closeness between men who beat each other up for a living that’s wonderful to see. And when the winner not only hugs his opponent, but takes him to the center of the ring to show him off to the crowd and get him some of the applause, I love that. I love seeing these very macho masculine men showing that it’s okay to like flowers and hugging guys and even dyeing your hair crazy colors. I hope that there are some boys watching and realizing they can have their masculinity and their flowers, too.

Not to mention, the kids watching now are seeing women in MMA, and so are learning that it ain’t just guys who can kick ass. It’s progress. It comes in fits and starts, we sometimes end up stumbling backward a bit, but we’re slowly working toward a world in which men and women can both aspire to what they want to be, without being told they can’t because of their gender, where men are more than their muscle and women are more than their curves. Now if only I could convince Dana White to parade some ring guys up there with the ring girls. I’d surely love to see a scantily-clad young hunka handsome strut around holding the big sign announcing the round. Perhaps it will happen in my lifetime.

That world is gonna be an awesome world once we’ve made it.


  1. MadHatter says

    Now I’m really missing the Pacific NW. I really loved spring and summer for all the plant life and amazing flowers.

  2. rq says

    I think the yellow ones are a type of Forsythia. I’m pretty sure we’ve identified it before, too.
    The first ones (gorgeous!) look like a variety of magnolia. Probably Magnolia Stellata Chrysanthemumiflora, which explains the chrysanthemum-like flowers. Love it!
    The last one is the (Japanese?) Andromeda, very poisonous! But beautiful. Like many poisonous things in this world. ;)

    Now if only I could convince Dana White to parade some ring guys up there with the ring girls. I’d surely love to see a scantily-clad young hunka handsome strut around holding the big sign announcing the round.

    Oooooh, yes, if you ever need backup on this, let me know ASAP. I might even start watching MMA.

  3. says

    Agreed with all of RQ’s identifications!
    Also, the spiky bits on the last magnolia picture are probably the cluster of many stamens and carpels in the centre of the flower (petals fallen off, maybe).

  4. Trebuchet says

    I also agree with rq. Magnolia, Forsythia, Andromeda. The Forsythia, alas, will soon be replaced by accursed Scotch Broom, which lasts much longer.