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Posts Tagged ‘purple water lily’

Dragonflies are colorful and flowers are colorful too, but it’s rare that I get to see the two of them together. I was thus thrilled when fellow photographer Cindy Dyer spotted a colorful Blue Dasher dragonfly (Pachydiplax longipennis) perching on a beautiful purple water lily during our recent trip to Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens in the District of Columbia.

I took some initial shots with the 180mm macro lens that I had on my camera at that moment, but wasn’t really able to fill the frame with my subject and the background was a little distracting. (The second photo below was one of those first shots and it does a pretty good job of highlighting the water lily, but the dragonfly is merely an added bonus.) I couldn’t physically move any closer, because the water lilies were in a cement pond, surrounded by a three foot high wire fence.

I decided to change to a longer lens, though I sincerely doubted that the dragonfly would stay in place. Almost all of the times that I have done a rapid lens change in the field, the subject has departed before I was ready to shot. In this case, however, I got lucky and the Blue Dasher held his perch long enough for me to get a few shots with my 70-300mm lens.

I simply love the color combination of the different shades of blue of the dragonfly and the purple and yellow of the water lily.

Blue Dasher

Blue Dasher

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

 

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A bee landed on a petal of this purple water lily and, rather than heading for the center of the flower, the obvious source for pollen, decided to crawl down in between the petals.

I followed his movements and, after a short time, those movements ceased—I think he was stuck. Eventually the plant began to move again, this time more violently. Slowly the bee reemerged, crawling slowly up the petal, and I took this shot.

I find the tones of this image to be very soothing and purple is one of my favorite colors. If you too like purple, check out today’s postings called Violetta at Calee Photography, one of my favorite blogs.

crawling_out_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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Have you noticed that I really like purple water lilies? I was so struck by their beauty the first time that I saw one last year that a purple water lily appears at the top of my blog most of the time.

Earlier this week, as I was visiting Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, Maryland,  I came across an area in which two types of purple, tropical water lilies were growing. My photography mentor, Cindy Dyer, always recommends photographing the little signs that identify flowers and other plants and these water lilies were called “Panama Pacific” and “Blue Beauty.”

As I was photographing one of the waterlilies—I think it was a Panama Pacific—a bee dove headfirst into the center of the flower. Even before the bee arrived, I had noticed that the center of the water lily seemed to be glowing and that was what I was trying to capture by underexposing the shot. If you click on the photo, you can see a higher resolution view of the image, which shows an almost three-dimensional view of the flower’s center.

diving_blog© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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Although it was hot and steamy this morning when I traveled to Kenilworh Aquatic Gardens in the District of Columbia with some friends, the gorgeous lotuses and water lilies in bloom made the trip worthwhile.

Most of the water lilies were white or pink, but in one area they had these especially beautiful purple water lilies. This photo is the first installment of several postings that I plan to do of the dragonflies and flowers that I managed to photograph today.

purple_lily1_crop_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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