Meet Rhodora

Rhodora flowers growing in the heath with tamarack trees behind

Rhodora is a welcome flash of color in the spring

Have you met Rhodora?  A lovely individual most certainly.  Odd though, because she likes her feet in cold water, puts on heavy fuchsia makeup before getting dressed, and always seems a little out of place this time of year.

Close-up image of pink Rhodora blossom

Complex, airy blossom is a difficult subject to establish accurate focus on

Rhodora is always a welcome photographic subject due to it’s outstanding contrast with the new-leaf greens of spring time.  It’s a challenge because it’s long woody stems cause a proclivity to bounce wildly with even a slight puff or wind.  The three-dimensionality of the flower makes it a interesting study for macro work, as it is impossible to capture the structure with clarity from front to back.  I love chasing Rhodora, it grows in damp areas and along seepages in the granite ledges.  The north slope of Sargent Mt. and along much of the south ridge of Cadillac have plants scattered in little pockets of suitable conditions.

The story that rhodora tells me is a story of opportunity and the bright colors of success, even in unlikely spots.  Not only is water scarce and the weather foul on the mountains, but rhodora’s flower is this complex, delicate, airy collection of pink petals, top heavy on seemingly dead sticks.  Down in the dry heath (a rather damp area, but “less wet” than a bog) this shrub grows twice the size as it does on the mountain.  When I walk through this patch, as I do almost every year, it is a struggle to find a way through the dense intertwined branches.  Its between 4 and 6 feet tall and creates a field of bright magenta for about a week or less.

Rhodora flower growing in the dry heath, Acadia National Park, Maine

Rhodora has some variation in color, from dark fuchsia to white

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