Posts Tagged ‘lily pads’

I love water lilies and one of my favorite places to see them is Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens, a National Park Service site located in the northeastern corner of Washington, D.C. My photography mentor Cindy Dyer photographed water lilies there that were featured in 2015 on US Postal Service stamps and I helped her during a presentation she did at the special dedication ceremony for the postage stamps—check out Cindy’s blog posting entitled Special dedication ceremony for Water Lilies Forever Stamps for additional information.

Yesterday I traveled with Cindy to Kenilworth Gardens to drop off some matted prints for the gift store and it was fascinating to see the aquatic gardens in the off-season. It is much too early for water lilies to be blooming, but I could see lots of lily pads floating on the surface of the small ponds.

The lily pads were mostly colored in shades of rust and orange and I was able to capture some “artsy” shots of them. Obviously there photos are different from my more typical wildlife shots, but I like mixing it up and challenging myself to photograph different subjects. It forces me to stretch myself creatively outside of my comfort zone, which I believe is a good thing.

lily pad

lily pad

lily pad

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Sometimes when I have my camera in my hands, my attention is drawn to the amazing shapes, colors, and pattern of the natural world—I don’t need a specific animate subject to shoot. Here are a few of my more abstract shots from Monday at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

Even though I may not have had a main subject, in the traditional sense,I wouldn’t say that I was photographing nothing—au contraire, I was photographing everything.



lily pads

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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I was thrilled to capture a shot of a frog on a lily pad, but in her newest posting, fellow blogger Ginny Alfano features a whole variety of frogs, including an amazing shot of five little frogs perched on a single lily pad. Check it out!

Maple Flats

Fourth of July came and went quite uneventfully which is how we like it.  As I was weeding my squash garden, I noticed some little tiny “frogs” that were the size of my pinky finger nail. I had seen them before, but wasn’t really sure what kind they were.  Upon further study on Sunday, I realized that they are not frogs at all, but baby American Toads!!  Just when I think I know so much about nature, I find that I don’t know anything at all.  It’s a continual learning process.  I think that’s why I love nature so much – it always keeps me thinking.  So, following are a small collection of the frogs and toad I have come across in my area.






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“You’re not seeing the big picture.”

Has anyone ever spoken those words to you? They are often used as a tacit (or explicit) criticism of your supposed lack of perspective. The person speaking those words usually has an air of superiority, asserting that they have a better view of some figurative “big picture.”

You literally are not seeing the big picture when it comes to the banner of this blog. I was forced into a box of a specified size by the requirements of the theme I chose. It’s time now to think (and to see) outside of the box.

So, I am posting the “big picture” that you see partially in my banner. Why? One of my friends told me it is her favorite image out of the dozens I have shown her the past few months (and it is one of my favorites). You might like it too!

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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For much of my life I have loved impressionist paintings and especially those of Monet. Monet painted a series of approximately 250 paintings of Water Lilies (or Nymphéas) and they were the main focus of his artistic work for the last thirty years of his life, according to Wikipedia .

Last November I spent countless hours at the Musée de l’Orangerie in Paris visually exploring eight massive paintings of water lilies by Monet that covered the walls of two large oval rooms. The painting were all different and covered the themes of morning, clouds, green reflections, sunset, reflections of trees, clear morning in the willows, morning in the willows, and two willows.

The Musée de l’Orangerie allows you to see each of the paintings in high definition on the internet but navigation is not exactly direct. Click first in the left column of the main page on “Les Nymphéas” and then on “L’ensemble de l’Orangerie”  which brings you to a page with all of the paintings. You click on the painting you want to examine and click again on the box that says “explorez le tableau” (“explore the painting”). You then can drag your mouse to see each part of the painting or zoom in at 2x or 4x. There also are detailed explanations of the paintings in French that are fascinating, as is a history of Monet and these paintings. You get to that part of the website by following the previous directions and selecting “De Giverny à l’Orangerie” instead of L’ensemble de l’Orangerie.” I should warn you that it is very easy to lose track of time as you take in the beauty of these paintings.

I love photographing water lilies surrounded by green lily pads, with reflections of their beauty in the dark water, the same flowers featured in Monet’s paintings. Until this past weekend, however, all the water lilies that I had seen had been pure white in color. At Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens I encountered and managed to photograph some water lilies that were a beautiful pink in color.  They made quite an impression on me.

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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