23 May 2013

Accidental irises.

My boyfriend, Matt, needed to purchase a new cell phone a few weeks back, and asked if I could accompany him to a shopping mall while we ran errands one Saturday. I agreed, careful to tamp back my utter disinterest and anxiety in patronizing that bastion of teenage angst and commercialization on the busiest day of the week.

We arrived at the mall and greeted my fears: scores of teenagers, families with young children, and the occasional lone adult wandering with a shell-shocked expression on their face. We started walking towards the store possessing new phones (indeed, the ticket to my delivery from this monstrosity and ultimate salvation) and my eyes were met with a surprising vista.

A group of tables had been set up in one of the mall's open areas, on which were displayed an amazing array of irises. The Eastern North Carolina Iris Society was showing its award winning exemplars that weekend! Tall, short, bearded, and unbearded were all represented, with a stunning array of colors to boot. Matt indulged me while I wandered through the displays, pausing to examine some particularly lovely coloration or remarking on the cultivar names (botanists are never-endingly creative, see this blog post for some examples).

Looking at irises for a few moments was a welcome reprieve from what would otherwise be a tiresome shopping trip. I was gratified to experience growing excitement in...well, growing things again, as my current job doesn't include the greenhouse and field work to which I'd become accustomed during my graduate work. I was ultimately pleased I had the opportunity to accompany Matt, and was reminded that, just in like science, it's sometimes the serendipitous encounters which yield the biggest rewards.

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