From the grounds of the Arkansas State Capitol in Little Rock where the Central Arkansas Iris Society maintains two long beds of glorious irises comes this collection of closeup portraits of these delicate, short-lived flowers.

Then we had the irises, rising beautiful and cool on their tall stalks, like blown glass, like pastel water momentarily frozen in a splash, light blue, light mauve, and the darker ones, velvet and purple, black cat's ears in the sun, indigo shadow, and the bleeding hearts, so female in shape it was a surprise they'd not long since been rooted out."  - Margret Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale