Category Archives: Flowers

Smithsonian Gardens: Monarch Butterfly

The Mary Livingston Ripley Garden is on the on the eastern border of the Smithsonian Arts and Industries Building just a few steps from the National Mall in Washington, DC.

Monarch Butterfly
Monarch Butterfly

A Monarch Butterfly had plenty of choices even in October. He was carefully working this orange pom-pom plant (not its real name, unless I’m really lucky) when I passed by.

Monarch Butterfly
Monarch Butterfly

I’m always amazed at how delicate butterfly’s legs, antennae and proboscis are. This sturdy flower held up well to  the poking and prodding.

Monarch Butterfly
Monarch Butterfly

This garden was full of color and textures as well as other amazed tourists basking in the garden’s beauty.

Monarch Butterfly
Monarch Butterfly

Smithsonian Gardens: Roses

The Kathrine Dulin Folger Rose Garden sits just off the National Mall in Washington DC in front of the Smithsonian Arts and Industries Building. We visited in mid-October and I was delighted to find a number of single blooms to photograph.

Rose Bloom
Rose Bloom

Most of the Rose bushes and other greenery were kind of ragged, not helped by recent yo-yo weather and it being at least 80 degrees on this October day.

Rose Bloom
Rose Bloom

I darkened the backgrounds to focus on the Rose colors. I particularly liked this lilac:

Rose Bloom
Rose Bloom

There were a number of pink variations…

Rose Bloom
Rose Bloom

…including this more delicate variety.

Rose Bloom
Rose Bloom

Click any photo for a larger view.

 

Simply Yellow

Yellow was the predominant flower color around the old rice field this early fall day.

Yellow Flowers
Yellow Flowers

Single blooms stretch and turn to maximize their sun exposure.

Yellow Flowers
Yellow Flowers

Pulled down by the weight of the flowers these spikes bobbed out over the water.

Yellow Flowers
Yellow Flowers

On the edge of the canal nature arranged more of these stalks in an artful pattern.

Yellow decorates the edge of a canal

Click on any photo for larger view.

Powdery Alligator-flag and Friend

I spotted what I now know is a frond of Powdery Alligator-flag (Thalia dealbata) on a walk around the swamp last week. I took a few photographs because of the interesting color and texture. If I had seen the green insect at the time, possibly a member of the katydid family, I would have maneuvered closer for some additional shots.

Powdery alligator-flag and friend
Powdery alligator-flag and friend – click on photo for larger view

I had revisited this plant after my May post with a visiting bee and continued to find it unremarkable throughout the summer. Evidently insects find it more attractive.

Nature’s Beauty

There is not much going on at the marsh areas we visit. The summer heat if full force and nesting / family rearing season for the birds that breed here has ended.

A  Sunflower and a Turkey Vulture were my best photographs of the day. The Sunflower in a  field planted by the Wildlife Management Service was hosting a bee.

Sunflower
Sunflower and a Bee – click on photo for larger view

The Turkey Vulture had been working on road kill clean up duty and circled around as we passed by. Masters of wind currents they are beautiful in flight, if not at all glamorous close up. Even on this short flight his turning skill into the pine tree was impressive.

Turkey Vulture
Turkey Vulture  – click on photo for larger view

 

 

Study of a Rose

The world is full of roses: gardens, paintings, songs, poems…the list is endless.

Red Rose
Red Rose

This rose was a gift from Gerald’s, the tire place.

Red Rose
Red Rose

Gerald’s is a  business that is all about customer service, including this token of their appreciation, left on the seat of your car. Add marketing to the rose’s achievement list.

Red Rose
Red Rose

A Yellow Fur Jacket

I don’t know the plant or the insect.  Rather pretty up close, the insect has a furry looking yellow jacket, but is not what I think of as a “Yellow Jacket.” The small flowers are on tall stalks growing in standing water at the edge of a swampy area.

Bee on a Flower
Bee on a Flower – click photo for larger view

The insect must have been getting some nourishment satisfaction or good taste because he kept at it, going round and round the plant.

Bee on a Flower
Bee on a Flower – click photo for larger view

Except for the purple highlights on the leaves, the plant is not particularly attractive to look at. I should go back in a week or so and see what it might have transformed into.

Bee on a Flower
Bee on a Flower showing a shiny “bald” spot between his wings- click photo for larger view