This year I am doing a photo-a-day project, and following prompts that I get from Capture Your 365 (here are the May prompts). It's amusing to me how many of the photos I've taken so far this year have been of bougainvillea. It's the ultimate tropical plant, thriving through all seasons in a variety of intense colors, rioting over walls and gates and mixing its thorns with the razor wire that tops those walls and gates as well. There's nothing subtle about it (though there are some paler colors that are a bit more delicate). It's confident and happy. It doesn't care whether you're looking or not; it's just busy being beautiful. Cut it back to a stick, and it returns more luxuriant than ever. I love it so much, and I aspire to be more like it.
I'm going to share a few bougainvillea photos in this post and then a little bit of information about bougainvillea, and then end with the poem Michelle shared.
According to Wikipedia, "The first European to describe these plants was Philibert Commerçon, a botanist accompanying French Navy admiral and explorer Louis Antoine de Bougainville during his voyage of circumnavigation of the Earth, and first published for him by Antoine Laurent de Jussieu in 1789. It is possible that the first European to observe these plants was Jeanne Baré, Commerçon's lover and assistant who was an expert in botany. Because she was not allowed on ship as a woman, she disguised herself as a man in order to make the journey (and thus became the first woman to circumnavigate the globe)."
What a story! Has someone written a novel about it?
And here's the poem, set in the Oyamel Forest of Mexico, where the monarch butterflies go in the winter.
Song of the Oyamel
On the other side of this door
You are an oyamel native to the mountains of Mexico
Rising in a cloud forest of sister evergreens
Shedding pollen cones, shedding winged seeds
Our lost wings
singly and in pairs.
This is why the monarchs vanish
Raising sienna-hued colonies longer than my arms
Hibernating in Mexico where it’s hotter in January
than my front yard, where the red bougainvillea raves
Here's the rest.
Here's a poem I wrote about bougainvillea in January of 2016.
You can find today's roundup here.