Fields of Lupines

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© Valerie Cox

A perfect day, perfect weather, great company, all in search of beautiful wildflowers, that is what my recent trip to New Hampshire’s White Mountain region had in store for one of MVCC’s spring field trips. Our mission: to find and photograph wild lupines during the Ninth Annual Fields of Lupine Festival sponsored by the Franconia Notch Chamber of Commerce and held in the towns of Franconia, Sugar Hill, Bretton Woods, Littleton, Bethlehem, and Easton, New Hampshire from June 7th to June 23, 2002. We decided to head to the festival on June 9th.

Although we arrived early in the bloom season, there were plenty of lupines to photograph. The fields appeared full, although a few, more seasoned lupine experts informed me that this was only the beginning and only about 25% of the wildflowers were in bloom. They had suggested that we enjoy the day, but to come back in another week when of the season would be in full bloom. While going back in a week was not an option for us, we did not feel deprived and had no problem finding excellent specimen to photograph.

Image Photograph of several lupines in a field. Prominent in the foreground is pink lupines with blue lupines in the background.

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© Valerie Cox

The lupine festival lived up to its name as lupines were abounding everywhere. But lupines are not the only thing offered during the festival. The festival also featured art exhibits, book fairs, entertainment, museums, special shows, and a wide variety of other events, but because we only had one day, we decided to stick to our focus and concentrate on the wildflowers. We did, however, divert from our plan to take a trip to Polly’s Pancake Parlor on the advice of friends who told us that the trip would not be complete without a meal at Polly’s, and in our case, that meal was breakfast. Well worth the stop, Polly’s had both great food and great service, as well as offering scenic mountain views and overlooking their very own lupine field. Polly’s pancakes come in your choice of homemade batter of buttermilk, cornmeal, whole-wheat, buckwheat (for only a buck more-just kidding), or oatmeal, and your pancakes can be topped with blueberries, walnuts, coconuts, or you could choose a variety of pancakes to try. To complete this wonderful dish, Polly’s serves real maple syrup, with the emphasis being on the “real.” They also offer maple sugar, maple spread, maple paste, maple candies, after all, they are located in the heart of maple syrup heaven, and I wouldn’t doubt it in the least if they made all their own maple food products.

With our stomachs full, we headed out to the lupine fields. Finding the fields were easy, especially with the help of a brochure put out by the Franconia Chamber of Commerce that had an easy to follow map pinpointing the more luscious lupine fields.

Image Photograph of lupines with beautiful blue and white buds. The top of the lupines has a a lovely green color.

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© Valerie Cox

Once in the fields, I discovered that the lupines come in a variety of colors, including purple, blue, fuchsia, pink, and white. The purple flowers dominated the color range, followed by blue, then pink, with the fuchsia and white were in shorter supply. There were also several multi-colored plants to be found. Purple and white, fuchsia and purple, blue and white, and purple and blue were among the varieties I could find. A lot of the plants were still in their infancy stage of bloom, while others appeared to be young adults, prime for photographing. Here in this page is a small sample of the flowers I enjoyed photographing.

All in all, it was a great day, and I look forward to attending next year’s festival.