Posts in Category: flowers

An Abundance of Asters

There is a poem for this.

It is the season of the Aster in
southern Maine. We must have
a half dozen species in flower
just now, everywhere from road-
side to deep woods. Of course
it begins with the big showy
New England Aster…purple petals
radiating from a bright yellow center,
but we also have the Tall White Aster,
which is (you guessed it) tall and white
with those same yellow centers,
and the then the spidery petaled
Large Leafed Wood Aster, the tiny
flowered White Wood Aster, and
the low growing Blue Wood Aster,
very like the white, but colored
like the New England. And then
we have at least two species of
Goldenrod, the Seaside and the
Zigzag (and yes that is its name),
So an abundance of Asters here
in southern Maine, getting on for
late September, to keep us company
as the leaves turn red and we slip,
as gracefully as we can, into fall.

Sony Rx10iv and Sony HX90V. Various focal lengths. Program with my standard wildlife modifications, and the HX90V shots in intelligent auto. Processed in Apple Photos.

Bee in Asters

White Wood Aster, Kennebunk Barrens Nature Conservancy, Kennebunk, Maine, USA — September in southern Maine is certainly the season for Asters. There are at least 6 different Aster species in bloom right now…and they are all over, in every kind of habitat. These are, I am pretty sure, White Wood Asters from the Kennebunk Plains, and what looks to be a Honey Bee. You can see that the Bee is harvesting pollen and is already heavy laden just by looking at those bright yellow leggings. 🙂 Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Apple Photos.

New England Aster

New England Aster, Laudholm Farms, Wells, Maine — Sometimes things just work out…right place, right time, and ready…and you bring back a satisfying image from one of your photoprowls. This is pretty simple, just the single flower head in Maine September afternoon light, against a dark background…but the effect, at least to my eye, is memorable. Sony Rx10iv at 513mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Day Lily

I bought this day lily for Carol’s birthday last year, and it was in bloom then, so I should not have been surprised that it is a late bloomer. I was. It seemed it was never going to bloom. Most of the other lilies in our yard are long past, but this one is finally producing wonderful blossoms over the past few weeks. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. HDR mode. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. And of course this is as much about composition as it is about the flower.

Blazing Star pollinators…

Northern Blazing Star, Kennebunk Barrons Nature Conservancy, Kennebunk, Maine — Though the Blazing Star crop this year is not what I expected after a controlled burn, there are clearly enough blossoms to attract a wide variety of pollinators. Many different insects are attracted to this endangered plant, which is good, as it gives the plant its best chance at survival within its highly restricted range. It’s a good deal for the insects as well. 🙂 Left to right and down, Cabbage White butterfly, Clouded Sulphur butterfly, Cuckoo Leaf-cutter Bee (sp?), Green Metallic Sweat Bee (sp?), Leonard’s (?) Skipper, and Monarch butterfly. I am sure if I had spent more time there I could have found others as well. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Jewelweed

It is Jewelweed season in Southern Maine. I found these growing along the Eastern Trail in Arundel yesterday, but there is generally a bunch of them in the ditch along Brown Street, just down from my house. I have not looked the past few days. Jewelweed is called “touch-me-not”…not because it is toxic to the skin, but because it has exploding seed-pods…in fact it is used in a soothing salve for skin irritations, including poison ivy. It is a member of the Impatience’s family, as you might guess from the shape of the flower. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm (tel-macro). Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Pink Water Lily

Besides being Eastern Amberwing season at Roger’s Pond Park here in Kennebunk, Maine (see yesterday’s post), it is also Water Lily season. The pond has both white and pink lilies. This is an HDR shot, processed in Polarr and Apple Photos for the best balance of light and shadow. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Nominal exposure ISO 125 @ f4 @ 1/500th. -1EV. (I say nominal since the camera took three exposures and combined them into this one HDR.)

Day Lilies from the yard…

Over the years we have a had a lot of Day Lilies in our yard and this year’s blooms are especially nice. Let’s take a moment to celebrate them. 🙂 Sony Rx10iv at about 500mm and 90mm equivalent. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Blazing Star just opening

When the flower head of Northern Blazing Star is fully open it is difficult to see the structure of the actual flowers. This head is just open enough to see individual blossoms. Northern Blazing Star, as I remind you every year at this time, is a plant with a very limited and rapidly shrinking range. Here in Maine, it is mostly found on the Kennebunk Plains, a remnant sand plain kept open by wildfire in the past, and now maintained by the Nature Conservancy. It is often called “the Blueberry Plains” because of the wild blueberries that grow there. They did a prescribed burn of the section where I go most often last September, and the Blazing Star, which is fire dependent, is coming back strong this year. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Bee Fly on Blazing Star

There are two things of interest in this photo. Of course, the Northern Blazing Star…an endangered plant that grows abundantly on the Kennebunk Plains. This is a very early flower…the massed bloom will not happen until mid August…but there are generally a few plants in favored spots on the plains that bloom early. It is one of my favorite flowers and I wait patiently for it each year. The Nature Conservancy did a prescribed burn on the Day Brook side of the plains last September, and, as Blazing Star is “fire dependent”, I expect a really good bloom this year. The signs are shaping up. There are abundant plants and a few early bloomers. Should be good. The other thing of interest is the bug. It is, I was able to determine after some internet searches and a couple of AI powered identification apps, one of the Bee Flys…all of which have that long proboscis for drilling down for nectar. They are Bee Flies not only because they somewhat resemble bees, but because they are bee predators…bee parasites…laying their eggs in active ground bee nests, one egg per nest, where they hatch and the larva eats both the bee’s stored food and the bee larva themselves. The things you can learn on the internet! Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.