Pink Flirt Daylily— A Short, Short Story

Description: Pink Flirt Daylily

Background: I grew up seeing orange and pale yellow daylilies everywhere. We had a huge mound of the orange ones in our yard. I always considered them as little more than weeds, as yard background noise. My attitude toward daylilies didn’t change until I discovered there were others besides yellow and orange. 

“Pink Flirt” Daylily, Maxxum 5 Ektar 100, Maxxum 100mm f2.8

My first infatuation was the cultivar Prairie Bella. They are a deep reddish peach color that stands out lusciously against deep green foliage. I saw them in books, and a few nurseries said they had them. But I have never managed to see any in real life. I called and searched every nursery within reasonable driving distance of Atlanta before finally giving up. However, the color stuck with me— peachy, reddish, pinkish-yellow.  

Garden * Hood is an Atlanta nursery that specializes in less common plants. Pre-pandemic, I visited Garden*Hood each spring, just to look around. On one of those trips, I spotted the Pink Flirt. I wanted four plants, but only one was available at the time, so I placed an order for three more.  

My Pink Flirts produce only one set of buds each season–deadheading does not help. Individual flowers last only a day or so. For me, the life of each blossom is like one of those moments everyone has experienced that, even as it is occurring, one is tinged with a gentle melancholy, knowing it must soon end. It is wonderful in its being and sad in its inevitable passing—a short life, a brief story. I welcome the story of each blossom and take pictures, accepting that once the narrative begins, the end is certain. By late June, all the stories have been told.  

Technical: Minolta Maxxum 5; Kodak Ektar 100, Minolta Maxxum 100mm 2.8 

Comments: I bought this Kodak Ektar 100 in early 2019 and forgot I had it. It expired about six months ago. I have used Ektar 100 in 120 format, but this was the first outing with 35mm. To my eye, Ektar 100 enhances reds and oranges but otherwise has no special features. Having used Lomo 400, Fuji 400, Portra 400, and UltraMax, I cannot see what might be gained by using Ektar 100. UltraMax renders colors truer, Lomo is more saturated, and Portra offers the soft pastel tones that I prefer for many flowers. That being said, after scanning this roll of Ektar, I have started making adjustments using the Epson Scan software that came with the scanner. Already, I have noticed significant improvements in scan results, so my opinions regarding Ektar 100 and the relative merits of each emulsion may change.

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