This American Lotus (aka water lily) is one of the last blooms we’ll see in my favorite lotus pond. It’s in plain sight in view of hundreds, perhaps thousands of human beings who drive past the pond and lotus colony daily. Most of these folk never see it or pay the least bit of attention to the blooms. The colony could care less. It is concerned only with survival. The beauty it produces in the process is coincidental. I shot this picture in a fresh breeze. The winds are distorting the petals as if the Almighty's intention was to make a porch for the attendant bug.
Sunday, October 2, 2016
Pine Buff, Arkansas
When I shot this flower in 2013, it was the culmination of watching the Lotus patch for several years and finally getting around to photographing it. I decided then that it would be a good thing to do a repeat on a yearly basis since the American Lotus is a perennial. Little did I know that climatic conditions and an invasive weed would just about do the Lotus colony in.
I have watched the colony ever since — and it has never recovered its former glory. That said, we are giving it a second glance this week and have high hopes for a return to a megabloom showing in the spring and summer of 2017. We also are hoping that memories of glory in 2013 will cease to represent the last really fine display for the colony.
By mid-to-late July, the lotus colony seriously goes into its “make-babies” mode. The blooms drop their petals and take shape as seed pods, mature their seeds, turn brown and call it quits. If you look closely, you can see the entire gamut of lotus life-cycle conditions in this image… well, except for a bud that I cropped out.
Cycles of Life
Originally Published on Sunday, August 11, 2013
Pine Buff, Arkansas
By the middle of July, you begin to see the trumpet-like seed pods that once were blooms. By the first days of August, you begin to notice that the pods are now dry and brown, and the huge “lily-pad” leaves are curling up and turning brown. By the end of August, it’s pretty well all over. Time to call in the dogs and — in more acceptable terms — ”extinguish the fire.” The blooms are gone, the pods are brown, and most of the leaves are curling.
From Bud to Brown
It’s August and what once was a garden spot now is a cluttered nursery up close and personal. From left, a new pod, just recently denuded of it petals. Second from right, the pod nurturing its growing seeds. Center, the pod with virtually mature seeds. Top and far right, dried pods. From bud to brown in 90 days give or take a few standard deviations.
The show has gone on — and gone. In 90 days or so, this perennial plant rejuvenates, dazzles us with its best, takes care of business, turns ugly, and goes into temporary retirement for nine months. As regular as clockwork, “two-a-days” notwithstanding. Go Hawgs!
Notes: Nikon D7100, tripod mount, AF VR –Nikkor 80-400 f4.5-5.6Dall. First picture ISO 200, balance ISO 100. First picture 1/500@f11; Second picture, firstname.lastname@example.org; Third picture, email@example.com. Post processed with Photoshop® CC.
Things are about to get ugly at
Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind.
See more of the lotus colony from a slightly different perspective. Click, go, and enjoy.