Johnny Jump-up, a *very* early spring viola

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Johnny Jump-up, a *very* early spring viola

Post by rjlittlefield »


I swear these plants must be completely freezeproof. Two weeks ago when I shot the "Icicles on a small bush", this chunk of garden was covered in ice and snow and the ground was frozen. But that never seems to set back the violas -- they just stop whatever they're doing, wait for the thaw, then get back to doing it. This one has probably been working on flower buds all winter. Tough little critters. Pretty, too. :D


Technical: Canon 300D with Sigma 105 mm macro at 1:2.5, 1/6 sec at f/16, ISO 200. Slight crop.

Edit: correct typo.
Last edited by rjlittlefield on Sat Feb 09, 2008 11:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by JoanYoung »

The resilience to cold never fails to amaze me. :) Lovely image Rik.
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Post by Ken Ramos »

I work with a lady named Viola :lol: Someone told me a long time ago these were Winter Pansy's but I am not up on flowers though I do find them to be fun to photograph. Nice image there Rik, these little things are quite persistant. My boss has them growing around the building where I work. :D

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Post by jmlphoto »

nature always finds a way, great shot
Jordan L. photo southern california.

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Post by beetleman »

Beautiful Picture Rik. One of my favorite little plants. They always seem like little faces. Remember, they always danced in the cartoons :D
Take Nothing but Pictures--Leave Nothing but Footprints.
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Post by Mike B in OKlahoma »

I always thought the viola was a musical instrument, but I like these flower pics anyway! It's warm enough here to go outside in a short-sleeved shirt this weekend, so maybe I can find something like this in Oklahoma.
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Post by rjlittlefield »

Mike B in OKlahoma wrote:I always thought the viola was a musical instrument, but I like these flower pics anyway!
Hhmm, let's see... 8) The Wikipedia disambiguation page lists 27 possibilities for which "Viola" the reader might want to know about. Two different musical instruments are on top of the list; the plant genus is #4. :lol:

And a messy genus it is. Viola contains "violets", "pansies", and "violas". Mostly they like moist areas, but there's one that grows in the local desert!* (That's the "Sagebrush violet", Viola trinervata, named for its unusual leaf shape.) Certain Viola species are the larval food plants of Speyeria and Boloria butterflies (the Fritillaries), and sure enough, there's a desert species, Speyeria coronis, that exploits trinervata. Everything's connected to everything.

People seem to distinguish the violets, pansies, and violas primarily by leaf shape, flower size, presence of stems, and so on. But the butterflies seem to distinguish only by chemistry, and don't care one whit about that other stuff. Most of the Speyeria that ordinarily feed on meadow violet will also happily chow down on decorative winter-blooming pansies. But give them a different violet that looks perfectly reasonable to a human, and they're like as not to turn up their noses, get poisoned, or starve to death.

Yeah, I know, more than you ever thought to ask. But hey, at least I didn't bore you with the story about how the distant ancestor of this viola came home with me in 3rd grade as a present from my teacher. Some present -- it's been taking over my Mom's gardens ever since, and now mine too! Tough little critters. Pretty, too. Good teacher. :D

Glad you enjoyed the photo, folks. Thanks for dropping by!


* Technically, it's "sagebrush steppe", not "desert". I have to say that, or I'll get in trouble with my ecologist friends. :D

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