I won’t say “one last Wood Lily” because you just never know, but I want to post at least this one, before the season passes. Many of the lilies are very tall this year, probably to do with the timing and amount of rail we have had, the number of sunny days, etc. This pair, photographed on the Kennebunk Plains Wildlife Management Area here in Southern Maine, was close to 3 feet above ground level. Sony Rx10iv at 367mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
I did warn you that I was not done with Wood Lilies. This cluster was growing on the Maguire Road section of the Kennebunk Plains, here in Southern Maine. Note the tiny Green Metallic Bee between the bottom two flowers, on its way to its next pollen stop. I came in close for a more conventional close-up. Sony Rx10iv at 106mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
One Wood Lily leads to another 🙂 Such lovely flowers. I wait for them to bloom every year. They are not with us many weeks and then they are gone for another year. Kennebunk Plains Nature Conservancy, Kennebunk, Maine. Sony Rx10iv at about 420mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
I rode my ebike out to the Kennebunk Plains yesterday looking for dragonflies, and was surprised to find the the Wood Lilies in full bloom. This feels early for Wood Lily. I think of them in full bloom in mid to late July…but there they were. Much of the area where they grow was included in the prescribed burn of last September, and it looks like we will not have lilies this year in those areas, but along the edge in the deeper brush that did not burn, they are tall already. The light was lovely yesterday afternoon and showed the lilies to best advantage. Sony Rx10iv at 480mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
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.