Friday, April 29, 2011


 Our "Christmas" amaryllis is blooming again - this time two flowers - and it is a show not to be missed. We watched it there on the enclosed porch, facing south, as the bud spike developed over the past few weeks. What would it contain? There are but two flowers to show for all its work but they are each huge and magnificent works of natural art.

 This flower knows red like no other. Where does the coloration come from? It is in the texture of the petals themselves, in the atomic structure itself, and red is but an optical illusion. It is what we see because it is what is reflected. So in the truest sense, our amaryllis knows nothing of red.

 The two flowers are scarlet trumpets. They stand startlingly among the green of the orchid, the green of the Jesus in a Manger. It's a wonder they don't stop traffic on S. Clayton Road.

 Neither will last long and flowering will not repeat this year. I'll place the plant on the back porch this summer, give it a little nitrogen fertilizer before I chop it off and take it to the basement to dry out for the fall.

 Sometime next winter I'll carry it up to the porch again, coax it to bloom for me. I give it no more than water. It answers in red.