Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Still An Iris

 I was taking an afternoon nap, daydreaming about hiking in the forest in search of spring wildflowers, when the setting sun backlit the first Iris to bloom in my front yard.  Since I prefer tracking wildflowers over the domestic, this golden beauty made me think of a wild iris in the woods not far from my house, the Blue-eyed Grass.  I need to hike up there ASAP to get a few photos before it's too late.  Many flowers I've seen this spring seem to be having shorter blooming seasons.  The drought we're in probably has a lot to do with that.  Anyway, just a few more days of classes and paper grading and I should be able to get out on the trails more regularly. 
 As to why I titled this post "still and Iris," it's because the many families of monocots - lilies, orchids, irises, asparagus, hyacinths, and many others - have a complicated history when it comes to botanists categorizing them.  For many years, plants were put into families and orders based mainly on their gross anatomical features.  In recent years, DNA fingerprinting and a new take on taxonomy called cladistics have resulted in a great shuffling of categories.  But, through all that, the Irises are still Irises.
Sometime soon, I'll try to catch up on the naming of local members of many of these families and post photos of them.  Meanwhile, I invite you to click on each photo and enjoy the details. 

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