Autumn in spring
Those of you who were visiting this blog last fall may remember a native wildflower called goldeneye, Viguiera dentata, that appeared in posts on October 19 and October 20. Normally the cold weather of December signals the species to stop flowering, though a few individual plants may linger on into January. I say normally, because in January and February of 2012 we didn’t really have a winter, and I noticed that a small goldeneye plant by the side of a street in my neighborhood kept producing a few flowers even through March. Only then, when all sorts of spring-flowering plants had been going going crazy for some time already, did the goldeneye finally stop.
Or so I thought. On April 30, as I was driving past the place where that plant was, I caught a glimpse of yellow off to my left. I assumed it was some non-native lantana that I see there every year, but when I went back the next day to check, I was astonished to discover that the goldeneye had started flowering again. You can say that it was half a year late or half a year early, and that the earth was on the wrong side of its orbit around the sun, but there the flowers were, undeterred by any astronomical or human calendar.* Naturally I stayed to take pictures of the prodigy.
At one point during my photo session I noticed an insect nymph under one of the flower heads. Eventually it moved to a place where I could photograph it better, and that allowed me to give you this picture showing so many things simultaneously: a goldeneye bud still green and mostly compact; a goldeneye bud still green but revealing its florets; an adjacent goldeneye flower head with yellow rays just emerging; a flower head mostly open; a flower head fully open; and of course the colorful nymph.
* The last time I looked, yesterday evening, the plant was still confounding the calendar by producing flowers.
© 2012 Steven Schwartzman