Wild Flower

I found its name.


When a friend of mine asked about this flower’s name, I replied, “Yellow.” Helpful wasn’t I? She said that she’d seen them in Hawaii. I sort of connected the dots by saying that the flower must like warm, moist weather.


It likes moist soil and warm, humid conditions.

Around here, people call it a Swamp Iris. They also call another similar flower that is white, has purple stripes with orange highlights, a Swamp Iris.

That confused me.

So, I went to the book. “The Great Plant Guide.” It has small external dimensions of about 4×5 inches, but it’s extent is about two inches thick. The book claims over 3,000 plants and flowers. It’s a labor intensive book because you must know the names of all 3,000 plants and flowers in order to use the index.

Sheesh. If I knew the name of the plant I wouldn’t need the book.

There was only one thing to do. Look through it page by page by page. Yeah, labor intensive.

Finally. I found it.

This flower is an Iris. It grows best in moist soil, warm weather and humidity. Specifically, it is a Honington Iris.

Mystery solved. In just 45 minutes.

I’m just going to call it a Swamp Honington Iris.

A few thoughts about being prepared

I couldn’t really prepare for this particular flower, but I could have researched it when I first photographed it almost nine years ago. Yes, I bought the book while I still lived in New Mexico. That makes the book at least ten years old.

There are sorts of methods for preparing for a shoot. I use them fully when I’m working on a commission. I use the basic principles when I am just out looking for pictures. I’d have to think through my preparation process in order to outline the steps.

But, one major step comes to mind. Much of my work is on location, sometimes photographing it. I like to read about where I’m going. I read histories, the current status, and I might even read fiction as long as it gives me the feel of the place.

I never look at pictures of the location.

I want my pictures to be as original as they can be. It is true that I might cover old ground, but it’s my old ground. With luck, I’ll make a few pictures that are unique to me. With even more luck, they might be good.

Sometimes I return to the scene of the crime, if I can. I’ve photographed these flowers for nine years. I wrote, earlier, that I was getting bored because I’ve worked them to what I thought was the end of their potential. That same New Mexican friend corrected me. She said that nature always changes and my vision changes. Those are my words, but, well, you know.

That’s the story for now.

Stay safe. Stay might. Enjoy every sandwich.



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