A Strange Flower

I’m always surprised when I rediscover just how much more I see when I have a camera in my hands. I’ve been walking by this plant for over eight years now, and I don’t think I’ve ever really looked at it very closely until I decided to photograph it.

At first I was trying to capture the mandala-like structure of the plant and flowers,

ornamental spurge

which is not easy to do because you have to look straight down on it to see the pattern, and it’s a fairly tall plant. It took a lot of blurry shots to get this shot.

In the process of getting the shot I wanted, I also noticed this fly (I’d guess) that I’ve never seen before. That shifted my focus to trying to get a good shot of it, and this seemed like an awfully good shot to me.


Someone who knew their insects should certainly be able to identify it from this shot (possibly a Tachinid Fly.)

When I decided I wanted to write an entry about the flower, though, I decided I needed to show the flowers that you can’t see in the first shot,

ornamental spurge

and it looks quite different in this shot, doesn’t it?

Strangely enough, all the red flowers actually began as leaves, though the yellow bud didn’t. I’d never noticed before that even the big leaves have an orangish cast to them, though I’m pretty sure that they never turn entirely orange like the first leaves did.

I’ve actually thought about pulling these plants out because they are rather invasive, taking over a larger and larger part of the front garden every year and I’m not fond of digging up the bulb-like roots every Spring.

Now I’m not sure; the closer I look at it, the more I like it. Strange how that works, isn’t it?

Our Front Garden

Too often I’m in such a rush to get somewhere more exotic that I fail to appreciate what’s in my yard. Occasionally, though, commitments keep me close at home, and I actually have time to enjoy my yard, something I’m far less apt to do while home maintaining it.

This four-inch stalk in the pot on the front deck


contrasts magically with the 4-foot-high foxglove “weed” that magically appears in various flowerbeds, far too pretty to pull.


This bright, recently bought Columbine fits in nicely


with the “native” volunteers that line our front walk


and are obviously too important to the bumblebees and hummingbirds to cut back until the flowers are gone.

Besides, the white and pink blossoms blend beautifully with our pink and white Rhododendron that rivals any found in the nearby Pt. Defiance Rhododendron Garden.