Sunday, July 12, 2009

A Long Quest for a Lily

Hello friends. I apologize for the time span between posts, but I have been busy shooting and dealing with other needs. However, on this occasion, I must post a few pics, plus some history.

About 25 years ago, while I was working as a VIP for the Blue Ridge Parkway, I was told of a rare lily that was found in Virginia along the parkway. It is called a Gray's Lily (Lilium grayi). This rare lily is seldom seen outside of an area in the high mountain balds and pastures in North Carolina. It is found on occasion in other areas, but not very far from these high balds. This sighting was quite a bit north on the normal range for this wildflower. I went to where it was sighted, but could not find it. I decided that day, 25 years or so ago, that I would find the Gray's Lily in Virginia. I have been looking since, some times more intensely than others.

The other night, I received a call from a friend. He informed me that he had found what he thought was a Gray's Lily along the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia. He was not positive that it was a Gray's Lily, and asked if I could check it out and photograph it. I set out the next morning, and found it right where he said it would be. Sure enough, there it stood. Not one, but two (as best I could tell) Gray's Lily plants. The blooms where already starting to wither away, but I had waited 25 years to see this wildflower in Virginia, so I photographed it anyway. Even past its prime, it was a beautiful site. This endangered wildflower was right in front of me and my camera. It was a marked end to a long quest. Hopefully, it will return next year, and maybe spawn a few more plants. This beautiful flower is one that everyone should see.

I will not reveal the location of this wildflower to protect it.

Here it is. The Gray's Lily (Lilium grayi). It is past its bloom prime, but it is still beautiful to me.

The Gray's Lily (Lilium grayi), with a darker background.

1 comment:

  1. Michael,
    Did you return this year and was Gray's Lily still there?
    I saw it this year on Roan Mt.