Purple Irises and Serviceberries

Your correspondent is off for a long weekend starting tomorrow. The Bugs and Blooms tour of Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 1 put me in a botanical frame of mind, so when I started on a short early evening walk today, I couldn’t resist photographing these especially lovely purple irises growing in the garden by the flagpole at the Montague Street entrance to the Promenade. These showy flowers seem to be at their peak now, as there were lots more in the Promenade Gardens from Montague northward.

These are serviceberries on a bush on Pier 1. I’ve seen them referred to as such before, but never thought to look up how they got their name. I just guessed that they perform some service. Actually, as was explained by Matthew on the Bugs and Blooms tour, they’re called that because they come out at the earliest thaw, and in old days, the bodies of those who died in winter were kept on ice until the ground had thawed enough for graves to be dug. So, the appearance of these berries was a sign that burial services could begin.

I wish everyone a pleasant Memorial Day weekend.

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  • Andrew Porter

    Excellent photos on this and your previous BBP post, Claude.