Wildflowers and a Verse

A mile-long park runs along the Hudson River bank at Croton-on-Hudson, New York, where you can walk the path as dusk descends and see the sun set hazily, just for you.

sunset hudson

The town took an underused industrial area and rehabbed it about ten years ago with the help of the Open Space Institute so that everyone who wants to came come down and praise the beauty of the wide, placid Hudson. Well, not always placid. It seems every small dog in Westchester County is being trotted along at that hour, yapping and sniffing.

The smell of flowers pervades the air.

wild white roses

Along the railroad tracks you’ll find the multiflora rose, which came to the U.S. in the late 19th century as rootstock for ornamental varieties and was then pressed into use as a “living fence” to corral livestock. Its lovely petals float on the air for just about two weeks every June, then it reverts to its less-beautiful identity as a sticker-bush. Other wild roses bloom here too, some with better manners.

wild pink rose

Almost as fragrant as the white ones when you stick your nose into a bloom. And honeysuckle – when was the last time you sucked the fragrant dew from one of its blossoms? Put it on your to-do list for today.

honeysuckle 2

Vivid spires come up, having materialized after our rains came, finally, and jump started all the plants.

purple spires

And the wild iris, down by the shore, its proud head, its feet in the mud.


The great poet Louise Gluck writes in a poem named for a flower, “Snowdrops,” in her Pulitzer-winning collection The Wild Iris:

I did not expect to survive,

earth suppressing me. I didn’t expect

to waken again, to feel

in damp earth my body

able to respond again, remembering

after so long how to open again

in the cold light

of earliest spring—


afraid, yes, but among you again

crying yes risk joy


in the raw wind of the new world.


Filed under Home, Nature, Photography, Poetry, Writers, Writing

2 responses to “Wildflowers and a Verse

  1. Lori

    Your choices of flowers is interesting, beautiful and fragrant. Here in this country where everybody can trace their ancestry to some other part of the globe, two of your pictures shows a native species. In order: yes, the multiflora rose came from Europe. The Rugosa rosa came from China and environs and was brought here because of it’s hardiness. That honeysuckle is a Japanese honeysuckle, Lonicera japonica. The last two are native wildflowers. However, all of them are wonderfully fragrant, and all of them are worth stopping for. Thanks for the photos!

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