Cardinal climber in flower. And yes, the hummingbirds do love them. The bees are interested, too. Truly, this is a wonderful vine – and easy to grow from seed. Nothing was required of me except a little patience. (Of course, that may be asking a lot in my case. But gardening has other benefits besides the sensual pleasures of scents, sights, textures, and tastes. Supposedly it builds character, the virtues of patience and diligence, and gets me to practice graceful surrender in the face of events I cannot control. There has been a general, steady improvement this season – although “graceful surrender” is not generally in my emotional vocabulary.)
Don’t you just love the tropical-looking leaves? Because the foliage is so finely divided, it’s always full of light and shadow and seems to shimmer when the wind blows.
Only a couple of hours after it had opened, a nectar-drunk bee had trailed some grains of white pollen out onto the edge of the trumpet. I think it adds to the blossom’s charm. What do you think?
F. told me, laughing, that he’s convinced there’s something symbolic in my recent fascination with watching bees drink from cup-shaped flowers. Something sexually symbolic.
As much as I hate to admit he’s right (about anything), there is an erotic overtone to watching the bee get busy. Just look at this one. I was pleased to get the close-up details like his little leg propped on the petal, positioning him just so for his attentions to the flower.
I’m wondering more and more how scientists can call flowers “male,” as in this example. I’m not wondering as much about why we say parents tell their children “about the birds and the bees.” I’ll bet that during the majority of human history, when children still spent time outdoors, this statement alone conveyed some subtle meaning to any child with average observational powers. Any child who spent 10 minutes standing stock still in front of a well-loved cucumber blossom, wide-eyed with awe before the mystery, the beauty and the sensuality of a routine act of pollination, that child would instinctively know a lot in advance of the conversation with Mom or Dad.
The cardinal climber vine is finally (finally) getting ready to bloom. This bud is so tiny, I almost missed it. Can you imagine me missing the first flowering after waiting over 80 days?
I’m so excited. Promise to share follow-up…