Vintage landscape: fireweed

McCall flower portrait 1, ca. 1930, Provincial Archives of Alberta

Epilobium angustifolium discharging seeds,” Alberta, Canada, ca. 1930, glass lantern slide by William Copeland McCalla, via Provincial Archives of Alberta Commons on flickr.

The plant is now named Chamerion angustifolium. In Canada, it is commonly known as fireweed because it is quick to colonize damp sites made open by fires.

The photographer, William McCalla, was a farmer, librarian, and Natural History teacher. As visual aids for his classes and lectures, he made over 1,000 lantern slides of plants and animals. They were donated to the Archives by his son and granddaughter in 1982 and 2007. I will have more of McCalla’s flower portraits tomorrow.

follower of the fourth-oldest dream—
the landscape burning and burning.

C. Dale Young, from “Fireweed

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