These are yesterday's drawings that stretched into today due to the fact that the black background took so long! Yesterday morning's hike was delightful and cool and full of flowers. One, the Pale Spiked Lobelia, has somehow escaped my notice all these years. There are so many plants that it has to have been there for quite a while. The other flowers are regulars around Middlewood; old friends. I know them well. The orchids are extra special flowers that arise on such dainty brown stalks, and have such small purply-green flowers that some years I miss them altogether. Each plant is made up of one beautiful leaf that unfurls in the fall and lasts all winter. They are so bright in the winter woods, crinkly, with purple spots and shocking purple undersides, that you always notice them. But by early summer they're gone. In August, when the bloom stalk rises from the forest floor, it's very difficult to see them if you're looking for them. If you forget to look, forget it... unless you happen to have a 7-month old Collie puppy that likes to snap at anything she walks past. She ate the top of one last week, took a bite of it as we walked down the path. I thought to myself, Oh! yes, it's that time of year.... the Cranefly Orchids are in bloom!
Back at home, the ink drawings were complete but I was disappointed in how the pale yellow sunflower wimped out on the white paper, so I put some black squiggles around it to strengthen the contrast. Ooohh... I liked the way the flower suddenly popped off the page... how about do another? In the end I didn't have the energy or willpower to make myself do the Cranefly Orchid. It would be too tedious, and now I see that I should soften the black edges a little. Anyway, here you go - August wildflowers of the Piedmont.