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In Bloom

It's spring—well, it is here in Tel Aviv—which means, for a little while at least, things are in bloom. There are plenty of flowers here in the winter too, since that season is basically three-months of March-like weather, but springtime brings out a different range of bright, delicate species. By summer, it will be so hot, they'll all wither away.

I've been thinking about flowers a lot lately, their ecstatics, the suggestion of our sexuality, the suddenness or slowness of their appearance, their colors and fragility. I found this essay by Alexander Chee in The New Yorker about his rose garden perfectly relates how gripping it can be to care for something as taken-for-granted as a rose. There is a lot that we take for granted about this form of life. It's almost impossible to imagine it, but for most of the age of the dinosaurs, there were no flowers on the Earth, just ferns and stalks and grass and leafy trees. Flowers, were like the other things that survived the global catastrophe that killed the dinosaurs—mice, little birds, tiny bugs—meek, and yet somehow able to survive even their own extinctions to create something as mysterious as this:

Here is a gallery of what has been opening up around me lately.

Pressing flowers

Flattening out the orchid seen in the picture at the top of the post. I thought that "sonnette" was French for "sonnet," but it actually means a ringing, like a bell. Still works.

Sea of yellow daisies

Daisies in a field along the southern bank of the Yarkon River. Taken by request for Christine Gosnay, who was looking for red anemones. This was the best I could do.

Not sure what this is but it came from the garden of my wife's grandfather, who recently passed away. A stunning double-blossom.

ZZ plant blossom

After six years my ZZ plant finally put out a bud. The lattice of the emerging spadix is intricate.

Desert flower
All gone now

This is the second time that this tiny cactus has put out a flower. It takes weeks to grow, opens spectacularly for one day, and closes by sundown. After that it begins to wither away and fall off. Had I not looked out of the window by chance, I would have missed it this time.

A poem by Richard Brautigan.

Spider in the buds

A spider spun a web between the orchid buds.

Spider as pollinator?

The spider itself.

And this came up on shuffle.

Spring is here again.

Reproductive glands.


Here are the bottlebrush blossoms that fall off the tree outside of our kitchen window. The bats and hummingbirds love them. You can make tea with the flowers, which I tried once, but didn't really like. This is actually the tail end of their season, but there are still quite a few left on the tree.

**UPDATE 4/23:

My 6-yo brought this home from school in January and it finally opened up

That ZZ plant blossom looking kind of gross.

[Image credits: Me. Font in the top image is Tribeca.]

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