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There was some leg pulling going on with last week’s photo (see below), trying to fool the What is that? desk.
Penelope Moore wrote to tell us that the little blue flags “are locally known as ‘Shelter Island blue tulips’ — they’re drought- and deer-resistant and very eye-catching!”
Capt. C. Stone emailed: “I’ve seen the strange blue horticultural phenomenon and stopped to personally inspect it. A very rare Lithuanian tulip mushroom appears to be flowering outside of its native continent. A spectacular sight.”
And more comments on the mysterious blue flags were on a Facebook page called “Shelter Island Tourons” (tourists, morons, get it?), a clearinghouse for locals making fun of visitors.
Amid the snark on that page, however, some truth emerged from the Garden Club of Shelter Island’s Karen Brush, who said the blue flags are “protecting the daffodils that the Cub Scouts planted from being mowed down before the leaves have a chance to store up enough nutrition in the bulbs for next year. You can’t cut the foliage down for several weeks after the flowers are gone.”