Friday, September 19, 2008
I've written before in my newsletter and my blog about the concept of Birthday Flowers, that is a flower that blooms on your birthday. My mother associated the Amaryllis Belladonna with my birthday because it blooms in Southern California where I was born on September 4, my birthday. It's also called Naked Lady and there's another flower called Naked Lady, the autumn crocus, which blooms in Seattle, where I live now, on my birthday.
This year I was worried as my birthday approached because I didn't see any sign of my birthday flowers where they usually bloom, in the parkway of a residential street near my work. Then on the day before my birthday, my daughter invited me to go on a long ramble with her through the nearby park. On our way home we spotted some of my birthday flowers emerging from a patch of dirt outside a brick apartment building only a block from our house. It's not a block I usually travel, either when walking the dog or on my way to work or the store or the library. In fact, I'm only on that block when the lindens are in bloom. So it was a nice find. It's one of the great things about being a naturalist in the city, that you can discover something brand new right around the corner.
On the day after my birthday I was on my way to work, traveling along my usual path, and there were my birthday flowers in their usual spot. I don't know how I missed them on my previous trips. I'm not sure how I feel about having the autumn crocus as my birthday flower. It's highly poisonous but also poignant, appearing in the midst of a blighted landscape as a pale apparition of vulnerable beauty.
Do you have a birthday flower?