A strong wind blew over a number of purple and yellow iris stalks in my front yard just as the flowers had come into bloom. So I cut the bent stalks and put the flowers in a water-filled vase. The stalks had several buds with unopened flowers and I was curious whether the buds would open. They did and the interesting thing was that they did so at night. Every bud started opening once it was nighttime and the lights were basically out. The flower would last a few days, and then, also at night, the flowers would shrivel up. But they did so by the flower folding back and in all the petals into a ball of itself, which would then shrivel and grow darker. I also discovered that the shriveled iris flowers would make excellent dye, as they stained my fingers and other surfaces when I deadheaded the spent flowers. A bit got on our lazy susan that I missed and I can’t get it off the wood.
I’m sure people who know more about flower production and irises find this information as no surprise, but it was new to me. It’s these little things out of which larger stories emerge.