Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Lenten Rose - A Closer Look

If you follow this blog you know that I take a lot of photos on my walks and I love to get up close to my subjects...to really see and know them.  This past week I ended up in my backyard photographing the lenten roses that recently sprang to life.  Usually in the evening I snuggle up to the computer to take a look at what I "collected" on my outings.

One of my absolute favorite things to do when I first look at the photos I have taken is to simply view them in Windows photo viewer.  In this program I can double click on the image and it will zoom in as far as the image allows.  It also lets me use the scroll wheel on my mouse to zoom in and out.  I LOVE zooming in and what I find never ceases to amaze me!  Above you can see the entire photo and below you can see what it looks like when I zoom in.

I have both creamy white and pink varieties of lenten roses.  When I looked closer at the middle of the pink flower below it took my breath away. 

I love how each "layer" is made of totally outlandish shapes...one piled right on top of the other until it culminates in an explosion right in the center.  When you see it like this it is really quite stunning.

For you botanists out there I learned something interesting about the structure of this flower from Wikipedia.  "The flowers have five petal-like sepals surrounding a ring of small, cup-like nectaries which are actually "petals" modified to hold nectar."  You can see these nectaries quite well in the photo above.  They are the odd-shaped tubular structures surrounding the burst of white stamens.

As I zoomed in and out of my photos I kept wondering what a bee might see when they pass by.  In addition to seeing these incredibly enticing dotted sepals and stunning array of reproductive parts, they also see colors in the UV spectrum.  Even though I can't see that, I am still mesmerized and drawn in by the zig zag pattern created by the anthers and filaments in the flower above.

These final three photos are not "zoomed" photos but I included them because, let's face it, I just thought they were pretty.

I thought the soft greens and pinks of the petals below were particularly nice.

After viewing all of these flower close-up I realize these amazing fireworks are happening daily in my backyard!  It's as though the flowers are outbursts of ridiculous joy singing the most visually stunning song our eyes have ever heard.  So I urge you next time you are out for a stroll, let yourself go and explore.... get up close to things...smell the spring earth waking up...lay down in the grass...be intimate with this world.   

“If you will stay close to nature, to its simplicity, to the small things hardly noticeable,
those things can unexpectedly become great and immeasurable.”

― Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

"The exterior spectacle helps intimate grandeur unfold.” ― Gaston Bachelard

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