Flowers of the Camino

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P1110974For two weeks in May, I was lucky enough to hike along an ancient pilgrimage route in Spain known as the Camino de Santiago. It is a long story that I will tell properly in another place and time. But among the many joys of getting up each morning and putting one foot in front of the other–whether I encountered sun, rain, or hail(!)–was the sheer beauty of the spring flowers that greeted me at every turn. In tiny stone towns along the way, calla lilies grew thick and beautiful, alongside garden plots brim full of irises. Balconies from almost every house displayed geraniums, petunias, or some other floral bouquet.
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P1110123But I expected to find well-tended gardens and window boxes, and I could even anticipate what some of the flowers in them would be. More surprising to me were the wildflowers that grew in profusion along the roadsides. Some were familiar–wild roses, broom, gorse, daisies, heather, and poppies so thick that Monet surely would have painted the scene, had he been there. But others were strange and wonderful. Can anyone help identify these?

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