Saturday, November 8, 2008

Hat Pins

I've been in Georgia at my parent's home since Tuesday, and because family and friends are gathering for a wedding things have been too hectic for me to escape to the woods... until today. As soon as I could slide out I headed to the small lake across the road.  The weather was perfect - 66 degrees with a fresh breeze from the north, tempered by the afternoon sun. The edge of the lake is thick with wax myrtles, bay laurels, various grasses, as well as smilax, honeysuckle and Lobelia. A yellow coreopsis-type flower is blooming.  It has distinctive leaves with short hairs that will help me identify it once I'm back home with my shelves full of field guides.  Hat Pins are here, sticking up above the grassy tangle like little white buttons.  They have been a favorite of mine since I was a little girl growing up in north Florida, close to the St. Johns River.  

On my drive down I noticed thousands of white-blooming shrubs beside the road.  They were everywhere and I very much wanted to stop and pick some to draw.  However I have learned that roadsides aren't as accessible as you think (or wish they were), so I kept moving.  Then on Wednesday, when my sister, nephew and I took a walk, I found them growing here in the neighborhood beside the lakes.  Up close they are even more beautiful than they looked from the zooming car.  The tassels are silky and bright, much whiter that I imagined them to be.  The larger leaves are lobed while the small leaves are smooth.  I picked a handful to use in the house for Friday's Bridesmaids' luncheon.  Today is Saturday, wedding day, and they still are fresh and beautiful, possibly in honor of our beautiful bride, Madeline.


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