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.
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.
Thanks for visiting…
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.