Saturday, July 29, 2006

R. E. D. -- RED!

Red -- Nancy Regan's trademark suit -- you couldn't miss her. Red -- 10% of cars sold last year. But serious, downtown-type buildings usually aren't red.

Firehouse Square is a sure-fire exception to that rule! It is R.E.D. RED, seen here from the city parking garage on Granite Street. (Now about that gizmo looking like an intertwined pair of old fashioned bicycles: is it a scupture, a utilitarian object or what? You tell me.)

But I digress. Let's get back to the red outbreak. Catch that matching SUV, which, you'll note is a two-toner, per my recent commentary on car colors.

What more can I say? Never have I ever seen such a wonderful blaze of redness in any city, any downtown! It's a grand change from the same old same old.

More redness, this time out in the forest. Specifically, this beautiful stand of penstemon barbatus (scarlet bugler) was blooming up in Ponderosa Park a couple of weeks ago. Probably thanks to the monsoon rains we've been having -- my barbatus bloomed a month ago.

Another of our bright red summer wildflowers: scarlet gilia, known as skyrocket or firecracker. This specimen is growing on Gurley Street, in the block west of Park Avenue -- a favorite little spot for city wildflowers. The gilia is just starting to bloom.

Skyrocket made the cover of Science magazine a number of years ago. Inside was a NAU study of early and late season pollinators and their impact on flower color. The scarlet gilia tends toward white blossoms as summer comes to an end. Apparently, the late season visitors to high country gilia are primarily hawk moths and other night callers which usually pick white flowers.

While we have scattered patches of scarlet gilia here and there in the Prescott area, the embankments of I-40 between Williams and Flagstaff turn red with the blossoms in late summer. If you need a good red fix, take a spin on I-40 in August -- after you've spent an afternoon admiring the Firehouse Square paint job.


Karen of Scottsdale said...

oh I love the red! I'm trying to talk my husband into painting the walls red in the dining room where I keep my computer office. It's such an energizing color which is exactly what I need when I'm trying to work on projects.

Granny J said...

I'm with you, Karen. I think that too often, people are afraid of strong colors. I love them!

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