Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Flowers (10/03/05)
TITLE: My Boreal Meadow
By Helga Doermer
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Song of Solomon 2:12
My boreal meadow is witness to the tenacious nature of living things. Clinging with resolute tendrils to fissures and wrinkles in the irregular outcropping of granite rock, living plants root in a sea of stone. Over a succession of centuries, the massive sloping boulder left behind by retreating glaciers, has been re-created with a more inviting countenance. Extending between lake and cottage, it now displays a tenuous living carpet sustaining grasses, shrubs, trees; and flowers for three seasons.
When winter relinquishes its long and bitter hold, new life begins. The days lengthen and the heat of the sun increases, turning thick blankets of snow into the field’s first slow, cool drink. The grasses are the earliest to awaken from their extended slumber. Tender green shoots push past last seasons decaying matter. Once the grasses are established, tiny white flecks of flowers appear in their sheltering length alongside the intense yellow of miniature buttercups.
Not long after, hardy tufts of dandelions sprout in sporadic patches and lift their brilliant manes into moist balmy air. The more subtle and less prolific wild columbine need to be sought out. This delicately featured beauty rises in small clusters and shyly shows a graduated color of crisp yellow, rose, and then deepest red at its five fine tips.
The gracefully nodding harebells cling to slender stalks. Their dainty sky blue trumpets, attached to the thread-like stems, appear to float on air. Low to the grass, tangled masses of twining tendrils almost hides the purple-red pea like flower of the vetch. The wood roses come to bloom with a round of single ice-pink petals. Their stay is as fleeting as the spring.
Spring blossoms into summer. The daisies arrive with their cheerful faces of vibrant yellow buttons framed with the easily plucked white petals. (How many romances turned on their telling?) And one lone bunch of black-eyed susan pokes through a crevice at the base of a rock. Its golden-orange rays, like tresses of hair thrown back, expose its purple-brown center.
The days grow shorter. The full grown grasses open to fans of seeded lace; bleach to a pale white gold by the heat of the summer’s sun. The warm weather flowers fade and disappear. It is then one new color appears. Constellations of tiny blue-violet flowers, with bold yellow middle, open up in charming optimism. It is the fringed aster splashing my meadow with one last flora - keeping company with the changing foliage of the leaves.
The autumn rains begin and the wind blows cold. The grasses bow their slender bodies to the earth, shielding the seeds of next year’s growth. Soon the snow will blanket the field for another winter. When spring returns, my boreal meadow will come to life again. The flowers will commence their cycle of blooming. My soul will sing in celebration.
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