Virginia Meadow Beauty (Rhexia virginica)

Rhexia virginica 234 mm focal length equivalent, f/13, 1/100 sec. ISO-320

Fragrant Water Lilies

Fragrant Water Lilies - 1
Fragrant Water Lilies – 1

Here is a series of the freshly blooming Fragrant Water Lilies (Nymphaeaceae – Nymphaea odorata) taken at Shaw Nature Reserve this past summer.  I converted these to look like oil paintings using Photoshop CS6.

Fragrant Water Lilies - 2
Fragrant Water Lilies – 2

This plant uses an interesting pollination strategy.  Insects are attracted to the flower and land on the concave tip of the ovary which contains a small amount of liquid.  If the insect has visited another lily flower previously, then the pollen it is carrying gets washed off in this fluid and pollinates the flower.  Often, the insect pollinator (usually small, native bees) will not be able to escape this small pool before the flower closes for the night and will therefore drown.  See Steyermark’s Flora of Missouri by George Yatskievych for more details on these interesting wetland plants.

Water Lilies - 3
Fragrant Water Lilies – 3

Thanks for visiting…

Native Bees in the Backyard – Sweat Bee

Another common visitor to native wildflower gardens are metallic sweat bees (Halictidae: Agapostemon sp.) such as the one posted here.  Most species are quite small and are usually very active.  It is best to try and photograph these guys (like most insects) at first light on a relatively cool morning.

Metallic Sweat Bee (Agapostemon sp.)
Metallic Sweat Bee (Agapostemon sp.)
Metallic Sweat Bee (Agapostemon sp.)