Alpine Flower a Day: Mount Cook Buttercup
Alpine Flower a Day: Day 8, Mount Cook Buttercup (Ranunculus lyallii)
– world's largest buttercup, the size of a rose - spectacular alpine flower in our South Island National Parks
– taken late Dec 2019 Dobson Walk, Arthur's Pass National Park
The mountains are pale white
fingers against a gold-blue sky.
There’s darkness but no dark
elbows of birds in flight.
There are green daubs of vegetation,
wavy, yes, but no green tracks
angling to a haystack horizon.
The mountains that rise to pale fingers
have gold flanks, cut by maroon
gashes that do not
mimic the shape of dark birds
In the foreground, here,
are smudges of brown. Not so much
to suggest the earth that gives rise
to the stacked gold grass.
What you first see, suspended in green,
are the buttercups, a pale white
geometry of petals,
picked up in the pale white elbows
of the rising ridge
One buttercup petal drops
lemon yellow – a trip
for the eye. There are no
buttercups in Van Gogh’s
wheatfield, but pale white clouds
suspended in the dark blue sky.
If you're interested in the inspiration behind this month-long series of 'An Alpine Flower A Day' about NZ alpine flowers and poems, you can find more in my first post: An Alpine Flower A Day Enjoy!