Ariocarpus Flowers (2013)

PhotoBy Chris Deem (October 2013)

It is another lonely flight on an autumn day, and from her perspective, the sky is deep. The clarity of a brilliant light fills the crisp, cool air. Her brief life has been regimented since her birth, a life that will last for only one more week. Some call her a “killer,” but she is only a worker bee. In her society, the oldest workers collect pollen for the hive.

Almost exhausted, she has at last found a flower. Its petals are a beautiful color, a blending of yellow and ultraviolet. Silently she alights upon the soft petals.

The flower’s dark center beckons. Her body is alive with sensations as her fine hairs gently brush against the flower’s stigma. Deeper she plunges as yielding filaments caress her. A sweet golden liquid awaits her. For one moment, her life will not be regimented as she drinks deeply the ambrosia of the gods.

The spirit of autumn has again cast open her cool cloak of sad beauty in haste, before her harsh sister’s arrival. It is the time of colors.

The genus Ariocarpus has chosen this season to flower. There is an unusual white-flowering population of the species known as A. kotschoubeyanus. It appears to have been created to entice. Several species of Ariocarpus have magenta flowers. To many, this color has an unparalleled beauty.

This, however, is the story of a flower from the species called Ariocarpus retusus, sub-species trigonus. As seen through my eyes, its flowers are yellow. Yet if I were a bee, I would see differently. I would see with my compound eyes the blending of yellow and ultraviolet. This color is now “bee purple.”