Throwback Thursday: My First Photoblog (Spider Lily)

photo by Gene'O

photo by Gene’O

This is the first original photo I ever posted on the blogs. It was my first Wordless Wednesday and I posted it in April. Here are some funny and interesting things about me posting this photo.

  • This is a fall flower, not a spring flower. Apparently I just had it sitting around for months when I should have been posting it on the blog.
  • I thought this photo sucked until I actually went back and took a look at it. It’s not as good as most of my other stuff, but not a bad photo, really.
  • It got 33 likes. That was an unheard of number of likes for a Sourcerer post last April, and it is still more than we get there on most days. Those 33 likes are what convinced me to keep blogging photos.
  • I thought I blogged this photo with a little text explaining why Spider Lilies are so special. Turns out, I just left cryptic clues in the tags.
  • I remembered it being purple rather than pink. Memory is a treacherous thing.

So, for this Throwback Thursday, I’ll tell you what makes a Spider Lily so special if you live along the Gulf Coast. They tell you when the frost is coming.

Spider Lilies are actual lilies, but they are wildflowers. They are not robust, persistent lilies that last all year. They live a couple of weeks at most. They grow along roadsides and in vacant lots. They bloom in late September or early October, depending on the weather. They can be white, purple, or red, and maybe some other colors depending on the soil composition and the time of year and so forth.

Spider Lilies are harbingers of winter. When you see the first one bloom, you can mark that day on your calendar and be sure you’re getting your first real frost in six weeks, give or take a day or three. My father passed this bit of lore on to me more than ten years ago, and for most of those years, I’ve marked my calendar just to see. The frost always comes when the spider lilies predict it.

I glanced out my kitchen window last Saturday as I was making coffee and spied these beauties . . .

photo by Gene'O

photo by Gene’O

I almost re-wrote last Saturday’s coffee post just to mention them, but thought the better of spiderlily1 2014_09_28it. I’m expecting the first real cold on November 8, give or take a day or three. Thank god for Spider Lilies, for calendars, and for fathers.

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