The Royal Purple

Today’s Post by Mildred Alpern

If you are into purple, May’s the month when purple flowers seem to predominate. At least they do in my local Westside Community Garden in Riverside Park, NYC. Although the flowers are blooming in a wide range of colors, scads of alliums and columbines populate the garden. Even a Painted Lady butterfly made its way to an allium for a morning snack.

The deepest violet-blue hue, royal purple, is symbolic of majesty owing to Queen Elizabeth I who forbade anyone except royal family members to wear it. The dye was rare and costly, produced by extracting the secretions of thousands of sea snails, hence its exclusion from the general populace. As a bonus, it never faded.

The columbines, I viewed, combine deep purple petal stains with white bordering for a striking appearance. The alliums on closeup reveal six petals in a star pattern encircling the pale green pistil and stamens. The “stars” appear to explode in a bursting fashion. What a royal way to greet the day.

All images were shot with the Olympus E-M5 Mark II and the Olympus M. Zuiko 30mm f/3.5 lens; the starburst with an exposure of 1/1000 sec at f/3.5 and ISO 2000; the butterfly with an exposure of 1/3200 sec at f/3.5, -1/3EV and ISO 2000; the columbine with an exposure of 1/8000 sec at f/3.5, -2/3EV and ISO 2000.


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.