The fields and roadsides here in the south of France are dappled with colorful spring wildflowers. Blazing poppies, of course. And voluptuous clouds of yellow broom plant–their French name, genêt, is so much prettier.
But if you look closely, you will see smaller spectacles of color and design audacity. They are easy to miss because they don’t have the massive presence of, say, the poppies. These wonders look like they belong in a Dr. Seuss book, flowering in Whoville or Sala-ma-Sond.
One of my favorites, which I don’t have a good shot of, are the purple Sputniks below:
The wonderful photographer Heather at Lost in Arles did a better job on them, as well as on the little white flowers, whose conical heads look surrounded by manes, like little cartoon lions. Or like sparklers.There are so many flowers on impossibly thin stems that look drawn by a fine pen, that spread out so far.
These seemed worthy of Whoville lamp posts. Or fairy lanterns.Long, long stems with big shapes on the end are very Seussian:
This one makes me think of Snuffleupagus, who isn’t from Seuss but Sesame Street. But still.Some scary plants, too.And some manmade help below. This one is more Barbapapa. Sometimes when I go running, I pass the owner of this place, standing at the end of the drive and waiting for a ride. One day, he was holding a big bottle of whiskey. In the morning. I teased him hard about that. “It’s a present!” he protested.Maybe I find these amazing because I always lived in a city, where flowers are carefully chosen. Spotting these weird wonders gives me huge joy. What gives you joy?