As I listen to the first Christmas music of the season (I know – It isn’t even December yet. If you can’t lick ‘em, join ‘em. ”Midwinter’s Eve. Music for Christmas.” London Chamber Orchestra. Sony Classical. Lovely), this seems like a good image to put up here.
If photography is at least partly to give us ways to see things anew, to see things in a way we might not have, this image of a Poinsettia is a good example. (What especially appeals to me about this image is the sense of fertility, which is appropriate for the season.)
The Poinsettia is a variety of Euphorbia. It’s association with Christmas is an interesting story. The plant is indigenous to the New World. Its first known use was as a medicinal plant and dye by the Aztecs. “The plant’s association with Christmas began in 16th century Mexico, where legend tells of a young girl who was too poor to provide a gift for the celebration of Jesus‘ birthday.” (*) It was not introduced to North America until the early 19th Century. In the 20th Century, the poinsettia is a real story of American capitalism. One company (the Ecke family in California) developed and and zealously guarded a method for cultivating in quantity the poinsettia as we know it. The Eckes then relentlessly marketed the plant in the US as a holiday plant, in essence completely inventing the modern tradition of the poinsettia plant. (* See →Wikipedia.)
Best of the season to all. Joanne