The Beauty Of The VulgarWednesday, May 21, 2014
The genus name Aquilegia is derived from the Latin word for eagle (aquila), because the shape of the flower petals, which are said to resemble an eagle's claw. The common name "columbine" comes from the Latin for "dove", due to the resemblance of the inverted flower to five doves clustered together.
Today Rosemary told me to take a photograph of the white aquilegias inside what we call the cercis bed. I was rude to her and said, “You know how I feel about taking pictures of plants.” I felt a tad guilty so I cut one of the startlingly white flowers (that for reasons that I cannot understand scan with a green cast) that in their swirls remind me of alien space ships and brought it inside to scan. Here are the results. If you consider that this white aquilegia (most of the native ones to BC are of more lurid colours) is called Aquilegia vulgaris ‘Nivea’ (sometimes Alba), you might wonder how something vulgar can be so beautiful.
I tell as many people as I can that my scanner can exceed the magnification of most high school microscopes. I get not satisfaction except a somewhat boring nod. Thanks to my scanner I can explore the beauty of the commonplace. The last picture is a scan that I took in 2012.