queen for a day
i taught a workshop yesterday in hayfield, minnesota to 15 professional photographers. hayfield is in south-central minnesota. farming country. i had been driving through 30 miles of cornfields as far the eye could see, admiring the wide-open spaces of such flat terrain, when my gps told me to turn right into a conspicuous grove of vegetation and tall trees–enormous trees, actually. including the biggest cottonwood tree i have ever seen. nestled in the dappled sunlight under the canopy of trees was an inviting country home with wrap around porch and beautifully realized, meticulously cared-for, 6 acres of gardens. and to my pretty-well trained eye, it appeared to be all native plantings. yowza, what a setting! i talked all morning, and then after lunch we toured the gardens, and i was introduced to a new-to-me flower so delightful and charming that i nearly wept. it’s called queen-of-the-prairie. it looked like clouds of cotton candy that had temporarily touched down on earth for our enjoyment and pleasure. i hope there is enough resolution in this image (after i had to downsize it to post to the web), that you can appreciate the heavenly clusters of tiny pink blossoms. imagine mounds of these pink clouds extending for thirty feet. heaven is central minnesota in july. and it’s pink.
queen-of-the-prairie (Filipendula rubra)