Beach Sunflowers. Canaveral National Seashore.
Where I grew up in South Florida, you could literally stick a piece of "many-a-shrub" in the ground and it would grow. It was the land of tropical lushness and abundance - which flourished in my heart. Moving to North Florida (40 years ago) - where seasonal cycles dictate the growing patterns - took some getting used to, but I've come to love the rhythms of nature here as much.
Indian Pink. Native wildflower found abundantly in spring at Florida Caverns State Park (and now a modest patch in our yard.)
This month - celebrating spring kind of late - I've pulled together a small gallery of photos of flowers I've made over the years (and all over the state). Most are native, but with my S. Florida roots and having been an appreciative Master Gardener, I've included just a few shots of cultivars. Enjoy!
Thistle Sunrise. St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge.
Buttonbush. Wakulla River.
Floral Ether. Angel's Trumpet (Datura), non-native, swaying in the breeze during a long exposure in our former Tallahassee backyard.
Drinking the Hemlock. Bee on Water Hemlock at Rock Springs Run, Orange County
Goldenrod in Muhley Grass. St. George Island.
Lotus After the Rain. Lake Jackson, Leon County.
Ginger Blossoms. Butterfly Ginger in our yard in Wakulla County.
Blanket Flowers and Wood Storks. Mashes Sands, Wakulla County.
Sunflower. A cultivar grown by a friend - Judye, gardener extraordinaire - in Gadsden County
Peace Before Fury. Railroad Vine at Indian Pass, Gulf County.
Black-eyed Susans in the Flatwoods. Chassahowitzka Wildlife Management Area, Hernando County.
Fritillary and Plant Bug. Standoff on Thistle at St Marks, Wakulla County.
Lily Light. Tate's Hell State Forest, Franklin County.
Marsh Mallow. Swamp mallow along Florida Trail, Wakulla County
Mountain Laurel. Seven Runs Creek in Walton County.
Blissful Pollinator. Honey bee deep inside a Seminole Pumpkin flower, Wakulla County
Speculated Pine Lily. Native wetland wildflower, the Pine Lily, Wakulla County.
Rose Over Goldenrod. Pre-dawn at Hickory Mound Wildlife Management Area, Taylor County.
Swamp Aster Portrait. Silver River State Park, Marion County.
Swamp Aster In Situ. Silver River State Park, Marion County.
Wild Azaleas in Detail. Focus-stacked composite, Wakulla County.
Wild Blue Iris. St Marks National Wildlife Refuge, Wakulla County.
Magnolia grandiflora. Magnolias aplenty in our woods. Wakulla County.
Lady Lupine. L Kirk Edwards State Wildlife and Environmental Area, Leon County.
Springside Foxglove. False Foxglove at Emerald Spring, Bay County.
New Day Dawns. Railroad Vine buds. That's St. Vincent Island in the distance across Indian Pass, Gulf County.
Night Bloomer. Nightscape of a large water lily on the Turner River, Everglades, Collier County.
Morning Glory. Another showy wildflower at St Marks National Wildlife Refuge, Wakulla County.
Namaste. Water lily at dawn. Wakulla County.
Japanese Magnolia. Obviously non-native, but beloved in Tallahassee. (artsy rendition.)
Indian Pink. In all its glory at Florida Caverns State Park, Jackson County.
Wild Azalea. The short blooming season only makes wild azaleas all the more stunning in the woods. Walton County.
Pitcherful of Sky. Yellow Pitcherplants in Apalachicola National Forest, Liberty County.
Monarchs on Goldenrod. In golden afternoon light at St Marks, preparing for migration, Wakulla County.
Iris and Bokeh. Bokeh is the artsy background blur, (of a palmetto frond in this photo). Lake Winder, Brevard County.
Spider lilies. Bespeckled in dew, these wetland beauties were growing near Sumatra in Liberty County.
This is, of course, the tiniest fraction of the diversity and species of flowers growing in our fair state, but a good reminder to "stop and smell the roses"... and all their kin. Drink in their delicate floral beauty. Spend a moment and find how busy with buzzing visitors their short lives are. These jewels in the outdoors can be a balm to us all in these fast and furious times. Enjoy. And please share this link with anyone you think might enjoy it. Thanks for visiting.