photo of the week

All in the Family

Just a few weeks ago the two large seed pods shown on the right of our photo were blooms like the splendorific American Lotus poesy on the left — probably siblings in the same root system. The yellow seed pod in the flower becomes the big green seed pod on the right as the plant plods through its life cycle to make new little Lotuses. The seeds, leaves, stems, and roots of the plant are edible at different stages and were a dietary mainstay for some Indian tribes. The American Lotus is North America’s largest blossom.


Sunday, July 14, 2013
Pine Buff, Arkansas

It has been my observation that beholding beauty is a soothing experience. Given the daily dose of wars, pestilence, murder, larceny, extortion, threats, accusations, denials, excuses, embezzlement, disasters, and heaps of pure unadulterated organic barnyard material to which we are subjected, just a bit of soothing can go a long way. One of my personal beauty spots is a pond that is home to an American Lotus colony. I see it as a part of my daily routine — and the experience provides an all-to-brief moment of clarity.

Today, I stopped to shoot some of the huge blossoms. It takes either a long lens or waders. I elected to use the former versus the latter, since using the former also included crawling over a fence, or a long wade. After I was satisfied with the pixels I grabbed, it occurred to me that the camera forced me into doing something I could have done already, to wit: stopping and taking a closer look. I came to the realization that having a camera was not a required precursor to seeing something neat.

What’s even better is that my observation point for the Lotus colony sits on the shoulder of an interstate highway entrance ramp. So, if you stop to observe sans camera, you have the satisfaction of knowing that you have piqued the curiosity of some passers-by as they muse, “What is that nut doing walking around the edge of that pond?” That in itself has a scintilla of personal satisfaction. So, by stopping and looking, you feed yourself some relief and provide a boredom break for the traveling public. Two noble deeds.


Bonus Beauties

As I set the tripod to shoot the American Lotus picture above, I noticed some little pink flowers at my feet. They were happily blooming. They must be a hardy lot since it has been far too long since the Almighty has drenched us. They are not much more than a quarter inch apart. Consider these to be unexpected bonus beauties.



A few weeks earlier, before I had today’s epiphany, I stopped to shoot some Black-Eyed Susans along US Highway 79 south of Pine Bluff, my home stomping-grounds. The results were visually gratifying, and, as I recall, even with the camera in hand I was on the receiving end of several very satisfying “look at that nut” stares. If they only knew.

Stop and look this week. You need the break, and so does your audience.

Photo Notes

American Lotus, Nikon D7100, Tripod mount, ISO 200 AF VR –Nikkor 80-400 f4.5-5.6D, 1/2500@f5.3; Small pink flowers, Nikon D300, hand held, ISO 200, Nikkor VR 18-200mm f3.5-5.6 G ED, 1/320@f9.0; Black Eyes Susans, same camera/lens; tripod mount, 1/60@f16. All post processed in Photoshop® CC.


see more
See more of the lotus, plus some beautiful, but nasty little invasive flowers and an up-close-and-personal visual visit with a dragonfly at
Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind. Click, go and enjoy.

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