Magnolia fuzz

The magnolia, a common sight throught the southern United States, is one of the most wonderfully strange trees that I know of.  Originating at around 95 million years ago, the plant is a true survivor.  The immense, fragrant, white flowers attract pollinating insects to keep them reproducing.  I can attest to how quickly they spread and grow by how they sprout up in my yard all the time!

This is a close-up of one of the “fruits” or seed-pods that I most often see as the spent, brown husks that fall to the ground.  You can see in this macro view, that they start off looking like a peach.  There is fuzz on the outside covering and it is colored in reds and yellows.  I assume this is again, a strategy to attract birds and insects to come get the seeds and spread these around.  Obviously, from the age of this line of plants, they have been very successful in this strategy for continuation of the species.  For this, I am glad!

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Nikon 105mm f/2.8 AF Micro-Nikkor
105mm @ f/22 – 1/3 sec – ISO 200

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Unmarked

Each time there is a major exhibit at Atlanta Botanical Garden, it seems that they acquire a permanent installation to remind people of what had been there before.  One of the biggest pieces from Chihuly in the Garden (2016) – the yellow-orange neon column called “Saffron Tower” is still in place.  It stands at the end of a beautiful reflecting pool which is planted with an array of flowers.  Most of these are prominently marked but for some reason, I couldn’t find a tag for this one.

The beautiful pink flowers were not very tall but they were just reaching out for the sun and I loved the way the light was rimming the buds hanging beneath the open blossom.

If anyone know what the name of this one is, I would love to know.

Atlanta Botanical Garden
Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
300mm @ f/9 – 1/25 sec – ISO 200

Trumpet pitchers

On Monday, I posted a shot of a dragonfly on a pitcher plant.  This is a more complete view of the plant as it is quite interesting on its own.  The plant shown is a variety of Sarracenia – North American Pitcher Plants, also known as Trumpet Pitchers.  These plants are actually meat-eaters as the pitcher of the plant traps insects and digests them.

I had seen Old-world pitchers known as Nepenthes at the Atlanta Botanical Garden before.  The Trumpet Pitchers are different in that they grow straight up from the ground where the Nepenthes pitchers are on a stalk or vine.  I was also surprised to see the flowers on these plants since I had previously though that the pitcher was a flower.  The pitchers are actually specially formed leaves.  As you can see in this shot, there are yellow flower on stalks present on the subject plant.

Nature is amazing!

State Botanical Garden of Georgia
2450 S Milledge Avenue
Athens, Georgia, USA

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2
150mm @ f/11 – 1/100 sec – ISO 200

Trying to open the pitcher?

In front of the Visitor’s Center at the State Botanical Garden is a water garden full of lilies and pitcher plants.  On a hot July day, the water and plants attract quite a few dragonflies that are not all that concerned with people passing by.  This particular one had laid claim to a bright red pitcher plant and stayed there for quite a while so I could get his portrait.

I had put my long lens on the camera with hopes of seeing hummingbirds but it turns out that this is a pretty good tool for close-up shots as well.  The only problem was that I kept getting closer than the minimum focus distance and had to back up a number of times.

I thought this came out really well since I was hand-holding the big lens and got some fantastic sharpness on the little details like the hairs on the dragonfly’s legs.  I kind of wish I had set my aperture a bit smaller to get the whole of the wing-span in focus but I wanted to blur out the background for a smooth look.  The green background was provided by a lily pad in the pond behind the pitcher plant.

State Botanical Garden of Georgia
2450 S Milledge Avenue
Athens, Georgia, USA

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2
600mm @ f/6.3 – 1/640 sec – ISO 400