Peony, Backlit

The golden hour is at hand after a long stretch of rainy weather. These peonies have been bursting at the seams to bloom, waiting for a glimmer of sunlight and warmth to explode and release the possibility of propagation. The pollen practically oozes from the blossoms, begging some bee or ant to brush its anthers and pollinate the next generation.

Of course, that will never happen. The amount of energy it takes for a plant to produce viable seed is not worth it, particularly when there is no more room in the garden for another plant. Sometimes that energy is so great, the plant meets its demise – one life-cycle is enough before letting the next set of seeds take over. These will be clipped as soon as the petals start to fall.

But first, they put on this show. Resplendently backlit by the afternoon sun, they shine. Each petal a work of art, each fallen particle of bright yellow pollen a stroke of genius. One need only place their faith in nature to find beauty.

The peonies have been taking their time to bloom, waiting in a semi-purgatorial state while the weather was rough. Now they are taking off, a glorious signal that summer is almost at hand.

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