I posted another in this sequence of images the other day. I was delighted to watch this Coral Hairstreak working a Wood Lily on the Kennebunk Plains Wildlife Management Area here in Southern Maine. As this panel shows, and I tried to describe in the previous post, the butterfly worked its way across the flower and then back again as I watched. Sony RX10iv at 600mm optical equivalent, plus enough Clear Image Zoom to fill the frame. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and assembled in Framemagic.
With a backlog of bog orchids and other wildflowers from Laudholm Farms this week, I was certainly not thinking about Wood Lilies when I took an ebike photoprowl out to the back side of the Kennebunk Plains yesterday. I was thinking of skies and landscapes, but as soon as I turned down the fire road that goes to the back of Day Brook Pond, I found the Plain covered with one of the most impressive displays of Wood Lilies that I have seen. I have never photographed Wood Lilies on that side of the pond…I always find them on either side of Rt. 99 where it crosses the Plains on the other side, so maybe this is a typical display for the area off Maguire Road, and I have just missed it all these years. Lots of lilies and lots of tall lilies, and many clumps of lilies. Checking last year’s photos of Wood Lilies, my first shots are from July 16th, on the other side of the pond, so the timing is right…I was just not expecting to see them yet. Nice surprise. So now I have a lot of Wood Lily images on top of my Grass Pink and Rose Pagonia orchid images from earlier in the week. Such abundance…but that is July in Maine for you! If you are into wildflowers, at least.
On this image of a double blossom, you will see, if you look closely, that there is a tiny Green Metallic Bee in flight above the lower flower. The Green Metallic Bees were all over the Wood Lilies, and I have to suspect that they are a major pollinator, at least out on the Kennebunk Plains.
Sony RX10iv at 326mm equivalent. Macro mode (in Scene Modes). Processed in Polarr.
I hope you don’t mind another Wood Lily shot. The season is short and I have to get my shots in while they bloom 🙂 This cluster of three, at Day Brook Pond on the Kennebunk Plains Wildlife Management Area, with the petals still wet from overnight rains, shows off the lily at its best.
Sony RX10iii at 135mm equivalent field of view. Some program shift for depth of field. f6.3 @ 1/320th @ ISO 100. Processed in Lightroom.
We finally got some much-needed rain in Southern Maine over the weekend, and I hoped that it would pop the Wood Lilies out on the Kennebunk Plains. I had been disappointed with the show last week, when, if it followed past patterns, it should have been at its height. A visit to the Plains yesterday did not disappoint. Where there were single blossoms before the rain, there are now good stands similar to last year’s bloom. In one small area we found all three color varieties, from deep red to this bright “safety-vest” orange. The deep orange variety continues to dominate, but at least this year, all three are showing. This close up of a bloom still wet from overnight rains, also shows off the purple in the stamen, anthers, and in the dots on the base of leaves, but the light orange makes the contrast between the yellow base of the petals and the upper petals less obvious.
Sony RX10iii at 600mm. 1/80 @ ISO 100 @ f8 (program shift for greater depth of field). Processed in Lightroom.
If Wood Lilies bloomed in banks like Day Lilies, they would dominate the landscape of southern Maine for a few weeks in July. As it is, blooming as single flowers widely scattered over acres of open sand-plain, just peaking up above the blueberries…or in the shady edges of forests or in groves of trees along ponds among the ferns…a plant here and a plant there…so you have to seek them out…they still have to rank among the most beautiful native flowers of our northern area. I have been looking for them for a week now…and yesterday they were in full bloom where I had seen nothing only days before. I know a few spots, in the Kennebunk Plains Wildlife Management Area, that seem to be reliable for them, and all but one of those spots had flowers. They will only last a week or so…by mid-July they will be gone.
Since they grow so widely spaced, you are tempted (or at least I am) to photograph every one you find…I came back yesterday with hundreds of images. The colors are so intense…from a bright orange to a red-orange to a orange-red…and, in most blossoms, with spots that are purplish in the shade and the bright yellow base of each petal where it forms a tube that collects pollen and water that attracts bugs of all kinds. The open petal base adds to the elegance of the flower.
These two flowers are on the single largest plant I have yet seen, with the promise of a full head of flowers over the next few days. I will go back today to see if the others opened. It will be quite a display when they do. Most plants produce only a single flower, with a few yielding two.
Sony HX90V at 34mm equivalent and macro focus. 1/1250th @ ISO 80 @ f4. Processed in Lightroom.
If you want to be overwhelmed by Wood Lilies, visit my gallery of yesterday’s shots here.