The Flowers of June

Today’s Post by Mildred Alpern

Certain flowers of June draw my attention: iris and larkspur and poppy. Each freshly minted heralds the final outcome of the seed-bud-flower cycle. It is impossible to ignore the beauty of these flowers, so distinctive in form and color, and each with a different character.

The poppy resembles a pop-up on its peduncle or scraggly stem with that fancy crown on its seedpod. The crepe-like petals have a tissue paper quality and its poppy red color is festive. Still, there is infinite sadness in the poem, “In Flanders field did poppies grow…”

The larkspur with it deep blue hue is set on a flowering stem with each flower rising one above the other in a loose vertical grouping of ascending height. It appears to be a spike or more poetically, a virtual wand of sapphire stars.

As for the iris, the yellow patch or signal on its falls, those three lower petals of the flower that flare out, indicate that this is a beardless iris since it has no fuzz. However, it is the yellow markings on the petals that direct bees inside for pollen and nectar. The yellow signal is nature’s traffic light, in this case meaning GO.

All images were taken with the Olympus E-M5 Mark II; the poppy with the Olympus M. Zuiko 75-150 f/4.8-6.7 lens with an exposure of 1/60sec at f/5, -1EV and ISO 200; the larkspur same lens with an exposure of 1/125 sec at f/5.4, +1/3EV and ISO200; the Iris with the Lensbaby Velvet 56 in manual mode, no EXIF data.


Mildred’s book Haiku and Images is available on Amazon and is filled with beautifully reproduced color photographs along with original haiku underneath, embellishing the image and deepening its meaning. Pick up a copy to give as gift for yourself or a friend.