Saturday, June 30, 2012

Canada Lilies- A Woodland Treat

I have an admiration for flowers that achieve unique beauty without selective human breeding.  So, along with the the truly wild orchids, one other will lead me to awake at 5:30 am. (The time is driven by capturing extremely sharp images when the air is dead still.)

The Canada Lily, Lilium canadense, is in a struggle to survive the overpopulation of Whitetail Deer.  Since the Mundy Wildflower Garden was partly fenced, the few plants inside have begun to show their full potential. Earlier this week I was amazed to find a single lily standing about seven feet tall with eleven blooms.  Plans were made based on a prediction of favorable conditions for Saturday, and I was joined by spouse Pam and good friend David Dunneau. 

This is an amazing plant.  Previously I had only seen single or double blooms that I now characterize as juvenile plants. 

The smaller plants are still  quite beautiful and definitely easier to compose into a photo.

A closer look at the flower shows an inviting target for the pollinator.

While most blooms were very regular in form, I found one plant with twin blooms that had a very seductive form.

I thought when I saw this bloom several days ago that it was in the process of opening and would be fully open this morning, but it retains the earlier form.

An unexpected bonus of the early morning outing was spotted by my friend David.  Two very tiny flies in the mating couplet. They are only about 6 millimeters long (1/4 inch).

Pretty neat to see them in detail.  Again, the calm air helped greatly.

Finished by 9 am, we retired to the Ithaca Bakery for bagels and coffee.  We had earned the treat.

Paul Schmitt

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