Studies in Orange: Part 3

Turks Cap Grace our Pasture

If the deer leave them to blossom, we have Turks Cap lilies here and there at the margins of the pasture some years. Others, nothing seems to survive the browse.

And while I have more stunning (and more vibrantly-orange) images from this year’s crop, it is those new volunteers that appear in the rangy uncut pasture that I most admire.

It gives the sense of a natural meadow, now filled with white chrysanthemums, yellow and black-eyed susans, Deptford pinks and now these tall hovering spaceship-looking lilies.

Turks cap is a difficult wildflower to photograph successfully, tethered and bobbing in the least breeze, tall and wide enough to present challenges to any kind of focus-with-depth. And the color is so intense, pocket cameras like the iPhone often do a poor job rendering the color that the eye sees.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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