Our Indian Blankets (Gaillardia) are drying up this week much to my dismay. These wildflowers are at the top of my “love” list and every May and June I enjoy their color at the farm.
The colors are brilliant. I love the vivid red, orange and yellow combination. They pop up every spring and are found in many states across the U.S. Gardeners can buy seeds and plant in their gardens which is really nice, but I still love them in the “wild” the best. Indian Blankets are also called “firewheel” or “sundance” or “blanket” flower.
Even a couple make for a pretty sight.
Cannot get enough of these. They make me crazy wild with happiness.
My grandmother used to tell me about the legend of the Indian Blanket. It was one of my favorite stories. Her version was slightly different, but essentially the same as the following legend.
Legend of the Indian Blanket Maker
“The legend tells of an old Indian blanket maker whose talent for weaving produced such beautiful blankets that other Indians would travel many miles to trade for one. The old blanket maker had never taken an apprentice and when he realized he had only a short time left, he began weaving his own burial blanket. It blended his favorite browns, reds and yellows into the beautiful patterns for which he was so famous. In time, the old man died and his family wrapped him in this blanket which was to be his gift to the Great Spirit when they met. The Great Spirit was very pleased because of the beauty of the gift but also saddened because he realized that only those in the Happy Hunting Ground would be able to appreciate the old blanket maker’s beautiful creation. So, he decided that he would give this gift back to those that the old Indian had left behind. The spring following the old man’s death, wildflowers of the colors and design of the old Indian’s blanket appeared in profusion on his grave to bloom and spread forever.”