The natural world: Time of the Naked Ladies
In the late summer and early fall the roads and fields of the West County light up with pink. The Naked Ladies ( Lycoris squamigera) bloom. The lilies are so named because while in the spring the bulb puts out lush green leaves, they die back, and suddenly, or so it seems, in summer a single naked stalk arises out of the ruined foliage and bursts into a cluster of stunningly beautiful pink flowers.
The name leads to a lot of local jokes. One woman who had a surplus of blossoms set up a flower stand but got tired of tourists taking photos by her sign that said, “Naked Ladies for Sale” that she took it down. There’s a Naked Ladies Habitat sign that causes a few second looks. Once in a local store a rancher chatted with the clerk asking him if he saw the Naked Ladies in the graveyard, when the clerk replied he had and how pretty and pink they were dancing in the wind, there was a stampede of tourists heading out for the graveyard.
Enjoy them while they are here in a month they will be just a flamboyantly pink memory.