Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Mealy blue sage and truly blue sky

with 18 comments

Mealy Blue Sage Flowers Against Sky 2368

From the same June 13th session along Great Northern Blvd. that produced the recently shown bush sunflower pictures comes this photograph of mealy blue sage flowers, Salvia farinacea. The last Salvia you saw in these pages was the bright red cedar sage.

© 2014 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 13, 2014 at 6:00 AM

18 Responses

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  1. So beautiful against the blue sky!

    Midwestern Plant Girl

    July 13, 2014 at 6:17 AM

  2. I can’t get over the number of combinations of blue, lavender, and purple you’ve shown us, and not a single one the same.

    This photo reminds me again of the song, “Lavender Blue.” When I was in high school, the hit version was done by Sonny Turner. It took me until this morning to learn that “Lavender Blue” is an English folk song that dates back to the 17th century. No doubt the mealy blue sage dates back that far, too. The sky certainly does!


    July 13, 2014 at 7:00 AM

    • The teenager in me remembers the song. Like you, I didn’t know that it started out as an English folk song, with differences in both the words and the tune. I couldn’t have told you what year the Sonny Turner version was popular, but an online article says 1959. Speaking of numbers, the mathophile in me is reminded that colors correspond to frequencies of light waves. Each color name covers a range of frequencies, but that range differs from language to language, and within a language from person to person. Talk about relativity.

      I like the whimsy of your last two sentences, which sound like something I could and would have written.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 13, 2014 at 7:51 AM

  3. That truly is a blue sky and the sage looks great against it although, as you mentioned, the flower seems less blue and more purple. At first I thought your watermark was a contrail.

    Steve Gingold

    July 13, 2014 at 7:51 AM

    • These flowers are definitely purple in my book, Steve. If I can link science and etymology, I’ll add that a contrail is a kind of watermark, given that contrail is a portmanteau word made from condensation and trail. The combination apparently goes back only as far as the 1940s.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 13, 2014 at 8:02 AM

      • Contrail = watermark; love it. Also fascinating to see the contrasting blues. I have always enjoyed the nursery rhyme ” Lavender’s blue” but I have never understood the lavender’s green part of it. Lavender before it turns blue, perhaps?


        July 13, 2014 at 8:54 PM

        • The green part of that puzzles me too, and your conjecture is plausible. I’ve looked at some early versions of the song and the “lavender’s green” was apparently there from the beginning.

          Steve Schwartzman

          July 13, 2014 at 10:01 PM

          • Yes! And now I am remembering that I forgot to ask you why the blue sage is mealy?


            July 13, 2014 at 10:46 PM

            • The flowers can have little flecks on them, as if someone had dusted with meal.

              Steve Schwartzman

              July 14, 2014 at 6:17 AM

              • Thank you for the explanation.


                July 14, 2014 at 6:26 AM

                • You may recognize the word farina in the species name farinacea; in fact farinaceous is a real English word.

                  Steve Schwartzman

                  July 14, 2014 at 7:56 AM

                • Ah, yes, I see that indeed it is. Why do we use the boring word ‘starchy’ to describe foods that could be called ‘farinaceous’. Farinaceous is a deliciously substantial word.


                  July 14, 2014 at 8:09 AM

                • Thoughts of food led you to the adverb deliciously. The realization that we’ve hit the maximum number of indentations this WordPress theme allows in its comments reminds me that toothsome is a synonym of delicious.

                  Steve Schwartzman

                  July 14, 2014 at 8:20 AM

  4. Thank you for sharing this beautiful celebration of “Blueness” with us.

    Mary Mageau

    July 14, 2014 at 7:44 PM

  5. celestial photo : )


    July 16, 2014 at 3:28 PM

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