Glædening the Heart


Iris season is here now in central Illinois. It’s also been cooler and a bit rainier than I’m used to for May, and as I looked through my files I found I have no pictures of flowers with water droplets on them. My neighbor’s flower bed beckoned.

Standing Tall

I like irises. I’ve discovered that I like several different monocot flowers: crocuses, daffodils, lilies, daylilies. The complex shapes and patterns of irises particularly endear them to me, though.


I’m Catholic, so the colors of the liturgy often jump out at me. These irises, with their purple petals and golden beards, recapitulate the Lent/Easter cycle for me.

Purple Rain

These droplets would be fancier and crisper if conditions had been amenable to focus stacking, but there was enough of a breeze the other night to make decent focus stacking impossible, and I wasn’t about to cut the flower and take it inside.

Glædene is the Old English word for “iris,” and is the root of Tolkien’s name “Gladden Fields” for the place where Isildur lost the One Ring and was killed. Irony and false friends aside, I am gladdened by these flowers when I see them, and they’re popping up all over right now.

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