You may be thinking that this plant has a few more scientific names—listed at the end of this article—than it actually
needs. I know I am.
I don’t do heights. While trying to recover a frisbee from the shallow roof of my ranch house
back in my 20s, I spent a half-hour hugging the asphalt, unable to move forward or backward.
So when I spied these bluebells poking out of a granite outcrop in Acadia National Park, then
noticed the abyss underneath, it didn’t seem too likely that I would reach them. But I persevered,
bulky camera and flash swinging pendulously as I clambered over the rock faces. I inserted myself
into the deepest crack I could find and waited, avoiding the view, for the wind to die down.
Finally, oblivious to the personal risk, I got a few good photos. (My wife, who has no fear of heights,
reviewed my account with a touch of skepticism. “Drama king” was one term she used. But I’m sticking
to my account.)
Identification: Bluebells are North American natives that
bloom between June and October,
well past many other flowers. Plants are up to 15" (38 cm) high. The beautiful five-petaled bells are distinctive.
Often they appear bent over (“nodding”) on their fragile stems, looking all the more like delicate bells.
Each flower is about ¾-1¼" (1.9-3.2 cm) long. Leaves are long and narrow.
From Thomé, Prof. Dr. Otto Wilhelm, Flora von Deutschland Österreich und der Schweiz., 1885
The leaves in this photo are columbine. The hareball leaves, visible at the very bottom, are very thin. · 9/28/2013 · Wild Gardens of Acadia, Acadia Naitonal Park, Bar Harbor, Maine ≈ 5 × 5" (12 × 13 cm)
9/16/2016 · Sieur de Monts Botanical Gardens, Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, Maine
9/29/2013 · Compass Harbor, Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, Maine ≈ 6 × 6" (14 × 14 cm)