Camas
Art & Photography and Poems

A Spring Meditation

Text and Photographs
by Karen Lundblad

Briskly walking the path to the Lily Pond at Mt. Pisgah Arboretum near Eugene, I couldn't help myself from imagining the roots of the camas nudging and wiggling upwards. The sight of that purplish-blue flower waving in the spring breezes was enough to flood the winter grayness from my thoughts. Soon the fields of camas will be blooming and rustling in the wind.
Why the camas? They are a native plant in the Pacific Northwest. They grow in harmony with the grasses, usually in meadows near rivers and streams. The common camas (camassia quamash) has long, linear purple (sometimes white) petals, growing from one to three feet tall.
     
I can imagine this single, simple flower gathered with thousands of others, gently waving at us in the warm spring air.

They grow in community and they are my favorite color. Camas teach me patience because to grow them, the seeds are scattered the first year to grow tubers so that finally by the second year, their glorious riot of purple spears implode the air.