Our lifestyle, as we continue to tour the country, has provided an abundance of opportunities to enjoy wildflowers every day. I would venture to say I have more photos saved of wildflowers than any other single subject, and the colors draw from a palate of millions. There are a couple of themes that stick with me as we come across them.
One sentiment I often feel is that at least some of these floral organisms will grow in any environment we run across, from arid desert heat to ice-covered rock face, dark forest bed, wet marshland, rainforest, sandy beach or dry riverbed. Nature seems to adapt to any situation. In high-elevation settings you'll see miniature alpine blossoms. On a rocky cliff side you'll often see multi-colored lichen overtaken by moss, then vines with soft pastel flowers. Even most desert cactus bloom annually.
Another is the sheer variety of color, size, shape and brilliance of wildflowers, depending on what is needed for them to be successful where they are. Most require pollination by bees, moths, butterflies, hummingbirds or other nectar feeders, and it's not difficult to see that the variety aids in their survival and helps spread their species. Even the wind can determine the type of wildflowers you will find, with those stems and flowers that can bend and resist destruction being more prevalent in gusty regions.
Interestingly, some flowers can be found across the U.S., while others are specific to one locale. It can be comforting to see wild sunflowers, coneflowers or musk mallows everywhere you drive, a sort of continuity that can sooth the awkward exploration of a new location. On the other hand, it can be exciting to see Texas bluebonnets. California poppies, Colorado columbines or the yellow jessamines of the Carolinas.
We did have some nice comments offered by friends, fans and followers. Here are a few of those (although some have been edited or paraphrased):
Kay and Russ W.- I love the desert wild flowers.
Becca R.- Wild flowers blooming in the desert mean life, beauty and God’s handiwork in an otherwise drab and desolate environment.
Hank & Shirleen- When I see flowers, especially small ones that many do not see, I think about our wonderful forgiving God, who put them there for us to see and enjoy. I am with you, Jack, many times they are my favorite subject to photograph. They always lift me up. It’s like stop and smell or just enjoy the beauty of the flowers!
BLSMSS- Traveling throughout the country I have seen some brilliant colors -- the bluebonnets here in Texas, the beautiful yellow, orange and red flowers on cactus, the daffodils and Lupines on the sides of the roads home, and tulips for beginning of spring. All these flowers remind me of my mom and the hundreds of flowers and plants we planted together, the many years before she passed. I would stop on the side of the road with my kids so they could pick a bunch of wildflowers for their grandma. Those memories are why I love wildflowers, it’s like she’s out planting them from Heaven.
Nadyne H.- Wildflowers are my favorite - over regular-planted flowers. I love wild daisies, wild poppies and especially the miniature flowers that grow up at 14,000 feet in the Colorado mountains! These are perfectly formed, exquisitely detailed and yet as tiny as my pinkie finger nail!
Packratphyls- I had an Aunt that used to have people stop and take pictures because her flowers all around her home were so beautiful. She planted them so all year she had colors for all four seasons.
Elsiesmom- The thing I love most about wildflowers is they are food for the bees. I have been so concerned about the bees since forever. I always put a little water station out for them, a terra cotta tray with marbles (so they don’t drown) and water. The only thing I am missing with my RV lifestyle is gardening. Seeing wildflowers anywhere gives me solace knowing the bees have food, too, even if I didn’t grow it.
Royce- Wild flowers make me happiest when I can show them to a woman and see the smile on her face.
Tami and Barry “Cruising in Our Cabin”- Wildflowers make me happy because they are just there, no need to tend them, water them, groom them... they are just there for my enjoyment for my senses to enjoy -- sight, smell, even taste (honey suckles). When I pause and notice a beautiful wildflower I want to capture it in a photo but it never does it justice. It was meant for my eyes only and I appreciate the creator of them.
See Spot Run RV- I love the different colors and styles of the flower. I have noticed over time that you get different colors at different times in some areas. They are so beautiful!
I'll finish up by sharing a quote from a famous American author, John Steinbeck: "Men do change, and change comes like a little wind that ruffles the curtains at dawn, and it comes like the stealthy perfume of wildflowers hidden in the grass."
Please feel free to add your own comments and memories below!
Jack Huber is a writer, blogger, poet and photographer. Like many, he is concerned about the psyche of our planet's inhabitants and wants to try to improve his little corner of it.