Lupine smell like nothing at all. Their hooded flowers feel like paper and like rain.

Tiny ants climb their stems, up and down on the small hairs. A bee lands on a purple bud, makes its way in, and then leaves to find the lupine’s brethren.

In their roots, lupine fix nitrogen, and I imagine the bacterial lives being lived there, just beneath my feet. Lupine are technically a kind of legume, a member of the fabaceae family, and so they have been given the gift of taking nitrogen from the air and bringing it to the soil.

Their name is wolflike, from the same root as Canis lupus. But they, themselves, are delicate, and pastel, the color-makers of many meadows. They are far from elusive–how could one mistake their round whirl of leaves, and their plump bunches of pale pea-flowers? How could anyone overlook the beauty of the lupine?


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