This photo of a water lily has long been one of my absolute favorites. It was photographed in a stunning glass house called the Conservatory of Flowers at the San Francisco Botanical Gardens. What particularly draws my interest is the soft geometry of nature, resting against a rigid backdrop of man-made geometrical rectangles in the reflection of the glasshouse windows. A lovely start to spring for all my fellow Aussies, have a great weekend everyone! (and completely in denial that summer is ending here in the USA).
Since Tasmania has gotten such a great reception on my website, I thought I would continue this week with some more photos from the same area. This small pond that I came across on a walk, was clearly the perfect meeting place for numerous wildlife and insects. Looking into the water you could see millions of tadpoles at various stages of metamorphosis, even some having both legs and a tail, almost ready to fully transition into a frog. The grassy bushes were filled with damselflies chasing each other, interlocking, and forming their heart-shaped mating pose. Snaking through the shrubs are the favorite trails of the wombats who live here, the plants trodden down by the weight of these stocky creatures. A few times I was lucky enough to see them out for their late afternoon dinner, and they were quite happy to pose for some photos (see wombats here).
If you can find it in your heart to look beyond the belly fat and brown pimply skin you will see the golden glistening eyes of this glorious toad. Living in a luxurious resort in St Lucia, this toad was clearly the queen of this pond, each night posing proudly atop the lilies. St Lucia is one of the homes of the cane toad (Rhinella marina) also known as the giant neotropical toad. On average they grow to about 10-15cm (4-6 inches), but have been recorded as large as 38cm (15 inches) and weighing 2.65kg (5.8lb). This toad was introduced into northern Australia as a predator to combat the beetles which were eating sugar cane crops. This turned out to be a futile endeavor since the beetles kept to the top of the sugar canes and the toads have poor climbing skills, so instead the toads outcompete many Australian reptiles and frogs for food which is easier to access. So as beautiful as they may be under that brown pimply skin, they should have stayed at home.
This one’s for you Walter… (for everyone else, if you want to see AMAZING dragonfly photos you should most definitely click here to visit Walter Sanfords blog). So here are my amateur attempts at photographing some dragonflies, and I’ve discovered that you need a lot of patience to do this. These first two are from Singapore, which were sitting in a giant lily pond in the national botanic gardens, a stunning place, especially if you like orchids.
The last one was from Costa Rica, and was continually circling a small pool of water outside my door. I stood for at least 45 minutes (felt like hours) in sweltering hot sun and ridiculous humidity, sweating like never before, all waiting for this dragonfly to land so I could take a damn photo. It actually did land every now and then, always in the same spot, but only for a second before taking off again and flying in circles. So I knew exactly where to point my camera and wait for the landing. Disappointingly, this was as close as I could get, otherwise it refused to land at all. So not a great photo, but I really tried!
So I’m introducing something new…Flower Friday! Not that Fridays need to be any more awesome than they already are, but hey, it sounded good. The first flower I have chosen is the water lily, and in particular, this perfectly formed pink one. It is one of my dreams to eventually have water lilies in a pond in my very own backyard (first I need a yard though, but a minor point). I imagine my water lily pond to be home to a huge family of frogs (now you see where I’m going with this…). Lots of very cute and shiny subjects to photograph! Have a great weekend everyone 🙂