Flower Power

Bud's daffodils
Another reason to love living in Redding: Bud McQuade's field of 40,000-plus daffodils. Every spring, we Reddingites know to take a drive on Cross Highway where nearly 97 year old Bud McQuade lives in a house he built on property next to the house where he grew up.  It is a breathtaking sight and one which lets us all know winter is truly behind us and summer will be staying for a while.

My daffodils
I have a few daffodils in my yard too. They will not impress a passerby as does Bud McQuade's glorious display, but I find joy in them just the same.

It occurs to me that flowers are like a magic show in the fact that they are stunning to observe while difficult to understand just exactly how their magic happens. Even so, it is so easy to take them for granted. Sure, we all sincerely appreciate their beauty ... but do we truly embrace how profoundly phenomenal it is that these gorgeous bits of tint and fluff exist at all? That they push their way through the ground with amazing fidelity to the rules of nature and serve us in so many ways? They please our senses with their beauty and aroma They provide food for the bees who then provide honey. Many plants and flowers have medicinal properties. Others can be used to dye textiles.

Of course artists are in debt to the world of flowers. Can we fully imagine van Gogh without  his sunflowers? How much the poorer would we all be if Monet had not painted his waterlilies, or Georgia O'Keeffe her poppies? And I am certainly grateful that Imogen Cunningham  used her camera to immortalize a magnolia blossom.

If you really want to appreciate the magic in flowers, consider this: flowers help the poets to write and lovers to unite. That's pretty good magic, is it not?
The earth laughs in flowers. -Ralph Waldo Emerson
Daffodil photos: Doug Crites-Moore