Saturday, July 12, 2008

A Sip Of My Columbine

Columbines are much-loved and much photographed, but I couldn't resist when I saw this solitary blooming plant today. I'm glad I did, because I hadn't noticed before was how hairy the stems and blossoms are.

I never see columbine anymore without being reminded of Louise McNeill's The Milkweed Ladies, her brief but vivid memoir of childhood and early life in Pocahontas County. The book title comes from a poem McNeill composed as a child for her playhouse tea parties, where her guests were made of milkweed pod fluff:

    Milkweed ladies so fair and fine,
    Won't you have a sip of my columbine?
    Or a thimble of thimbleberry wine?

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