Wood Sent Out a Scientific Expedition.”
We take many regular and predictable events for granted, but these are all very dull. Fascination lies in mysterious events that make no sense at all. One of the most absolutely predictable of these regular mysteries is the annual Iris Torrent.
Though I grow irises, I do not cause this annual event. I am not sure if the irises themselves actually cause it or make it inevitable somehow; cause and effect is not as clear-cut in the natural world as it sometimes seems elsewhere. The irises may signal it, or the annual Iris Torrent could be some form of extremely regular
coincidence, like eclipses.
I had been wondering if the Iris Torrent was really inevitable this year. Last fall I uprooted and replanted our iris beds. I do this every three years; otherwise they choke out and become prey to diseases and predators. The first year after replanting, the rhizomes often spend more energy rooting than making blooms and the new bed can be a bit sparse. Normally I do this by thirds, only replanting the oldest bed each year. But last year I replanted all
the irises, doubling the square footage that is “under iris” so to speak. I was not certain how vigorous this year’s iris flush would be, but after a cold, wet winter and spring most of the replanted irises undertook to bloom to some extent, so the first flush was at least respectable.
re-bloom with a second flush.
is that the water dumped in the Iris Torrent evaporates and forms clouds which then rain again. That, however, does not account for the eerie sense of inappropriate timing, the most striking part of such events.