Quaker Ladies in the field

We rarely ever take the time to look at the smallest things.  We, very understandably, ooh and ah over vast landscapes, priding ourselves on climbing a mountain for the view that extends to the increased horizon.  All too often we overlook the smaller horizons, those under our feet, those that the vast majority of life with eyes sees.  The nearby, the up close, the things easily flattened under our feet in our quest for the big, the far, the distant.

Right now the Houstonia caerulea are blooming.

Field of Houstonia caerulea

They are known to most of us as Bluets and to some as Quaker Ladies. They grow in small cluster on the edge of meadows and in rich woods on well drained soils that get filtered light or short periods of direct sun. The flowers are often less than a centimeter across.  Most of the time we briefly admire them from where we stand, glancing down at these delicate flowers barely standing above the moss, leaf-litter, or short grass.  From our height the blue can be a mere suggestion of color, dominated by white.  The bright yellow star-like centers are barely visible.

From a little closer more details become apparent, but this invloves lying on the ground, thus most of us rarely see these little gems up close.

Small clump of Houstonia caerulea

It’s worth doing so, they are very pretty.

With a hand lens more detail becomes evident.

Houstonia caerulea iPhone with hand-lens

The vast majority of life with eyes on earth is tiny.  Their view of the world is more like the last photo than the first.  What we barely notice is a deep, dense forest to other living things.  When I can, I like to explore the world from this perspective, it reminds me of where we stand in the wider cosmos.

 

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One comment on “Quaker Ladies in the field

  1. Isaac says:

    I went for a stroll in the local park this weekend and strolled through a field carpeted with small nondescript white flowers, much like the ones in your photos. Upon closer inspection, the back of every single petal was tinged with a gorgeous purple hue. I was definitely struck by their beauty. It definitely pays to have a closer look!

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