It doesn't take much to encourage Iowa's graveyard peonies to kick up their heels and dance on Memorial Day, but this has been an especially good year.
In the Chariton Cemetery, the top talent award goes to this magnificent pair on the Lucy and Cleveland Evans lot that have spread their skirts to cover, almost entirely, four tombstones.
Elsewhere, peonies are blooming not only pink.
But very pale pink.
And white as well.
Most varieties planted here over the year are double or "bomb" varieties, but I found a healthy pair of single peonies flanking a tombstone, too.
There are plenty of red peonies out here, too, but my attempts to photograph them turned to shocking magenta --- so it's up to you to go look. But it is quite a show right now, despite lots of rain that tends to ground these overweight beauties.
Another thing that made me happy Saturday was to see that someone continues to fill the planter at the Clark boys' graves for Memorial Day.
Duane and Beryl, sons of Melvin and Mabel Clark, died two months apart during World War II and their remains were repatriated to Chariton after the war.
This was a small family and after Lucas County ran out of this variety of Clark, the planter between their headstones remained empty for a number of years --- until the tradition of filling it annually in their honor resumed.