Almost March, warm winter… I suppose I should have expected a wildflower, but I didn’t. These little delights took me quite by surprise. There I was, dodging through the hail, focused on getting home before the clouds stopped spitting ice and began dumping water in earnest, eyes on the ground so I wouldn’t take a hailstone to the eyeball. And there they were, in the weedy grass: flashes of brilliant white, standing too tall to be fallen ice.
Though if you look close, there’s a bit o’ hail on the big leaf, there.
Now, I’m relatively sure these aren’t cultivated flowers. In fact, I believe I remember seeing mugshots of them on the big least-wanted weeds poster we had at the landscaping company I spent a summer working for. I’ve never really understood the antipathy. Granted, the grass gets edged out. But weeds round here have lovely little flowers in all sorts of colors, and their foliage stays green and hearty while the grass around it dies in the summer heat, and the leaves are much more interesting than blades of grass.
Also, did I mention the flowers? These were so tiny that they weren’t any more than bright white clusters until I knelt on the sidewalk to photograph them. Then they revealed a delicate folded beauty.
So small and yet so perfect. And they’re set in these circles of radiating leaves, which end up reminding me a bit of Mandelbrot sets. Well, to a degree.
If these showed up in my lawn, if I had a lawn, they’d be welcome to stay. In fact, my idea of the ideal lawn is a mossy mass filled with wild and wonderful weeds. I suppose I’d have to take the mower to it occasionally so as to maintain the illusion of an actual lawn, but that’s okay – these precious little things seem to survive the experience just fine. You can see the bits that have been hacked off by the blades, yet it’s flourishing.
Speaking of moss, you can see a bit growing right there with it.
And the fallen leaves. No one’s raked this ground in some time – it’s rather out of the way, where the most someone will give it is a lick and a promise with a mower. And that’s outstanding. It leaves a little pocket of beauty where there might have been nothing more than a boring strip of homogeneous old grass.
This was mostly a green-and-white world with a bit of purple stem thrown in, but one additional plant wished to contribute a splash of scarlet, and made the scene sublime.
Now, back in the day, I could’ve told you what these lovely little plants were called. But it’s been many years since the short stint with folks who called these beauties weeds and did their best to extinguish their brief lives. So I’ll have to rely upon you, my darlings. Please, please tell me this is a flourishing and defiant native, and not some interloper. We all know my unfortunate fondness for what turn out to be invasive species, however, so I’m holding my hope in check.
I’ll still love them if you tell me they’re horrid, nasty things that ruin the natives as well as immaculate lawns, though.