Seasonal Observations: The Lupins

 

Folks in the Pemberton Meadows compare notes about what’s blooming and what birds are migrating through and what creatures they might have seen.

Regularly last fall, we would talk about the latest elk sighting and whose field it was in.

Then I saw a porcupine -a first for me in this valley – and we all discussed the porcupine.

There was a lot of exclaiming over the early bloom of the Calypso orchids a few weeks back and more recently, the Lady Slippers.

Perhaps we make it that way, in gratitude for what we see, but all these occurrences have stories behind them.

For example, there’s a field about nineteen kilometres up the meadows where domestic lupins bloom pink and purple and yellow against the soaring blue tinged mountains.

The flowers have gradually migrated, thanks to birds and the wind, I imagine, a kilometre from their original field.

They were started about eighty years ago by John Decker, who won acclaim in Canada in the thirties for his agricultural achievements.

Each year, the flowers bloom and mark a passage into summer.

We stop and take pictures, even though the albums already contain dozens of shots of them framed against Mount Curie or Mount Ross.

When I got married, we picked huge bouquets of lupins for the tables. Many wedding pictures were photobombed by errant lupin heads probing people’s ears and noses but the flowers looked and smelled lovely and they were going to waste in a cow pasture anyways.

One year, the grad class helped me pick another display of lupins to decorate the gym for graduation ceremonies.

So, two days ago when I ran past the field of lupins, I stopped to admire them and marvel at their hardiness and longevity.

Of course, my reliable poser and running companion was only too happy to sit for awhile amid the blooms while I added the most recent lupin shot to the collection.

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Later, I phoned a neighbour to verify the history of the flowers and we exclaimed over the earliness of the blooms and then reminisced about the different times over the years that these flowers had brightened our lives.

Now when I see the lupins, I will also imagine my neighbour as a young girl, harvesting the seed pods for her own garden – planting history in her back yard.

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