Friday Flower – The adorable aquilegia

Aquilegia (columbine) – Photograph by Laura Lecce

This beautiful flower which belongs to the adorable aquilegia plant was staring up at me, proud to be the first to open, surrounded by slower growing, unopened flower buds in various stages of development. The name aquilegia comes from the Latin word for eagle because the petal spurs look like an eagles claw, although you might know this plant by the more common name of columbine. The nectar filled spurs attract moths, butterflies or hummingbirds to pollenate the opened flowers and different species of this plant have adapted the spur length to attract certain pollinators over others.  The flowers of some aquilegia species are edible in moderation, however the roots and seeds are incredibly toxic and can cause severe gastroenteritis, heart palpitations and even death. Despite it’s ominous nature, this plant stuns passers by with so many different varieties of colorful, bright and attractive flowers.

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Friday Flower – Yellow magnolia

Yellow magnolia – Photograph by Laura Lecce

It is indeed cherry blossom season in New York and the Annual Cherry Blossom Festival is on this Saturday at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens…. Which is why I went to the gardens LAST weekend. The cherry blossoms were very beautiful, but while everyone was taking photos of the blossoms, with the blossoms, in front of the blossoms, around the blossoms, I was taking photos of this glorious yellow magnolia. This giant tree was covered in large, golden, sunny flowers, but could not compete with rows and rows of pink fluffy cherry blossoms. However, I concluded that it was well worth my attention, and the photos certainly brightened up my day. Have a golden weekend everyone!!!

For some pink magnolias please click here.

Friday Flowers – Daffodils

The daffodils are coming - Photograph by Laura Lecce
The daffodils are coming – Photograph by Laura Lecce

I feel like this is the bright and sunny photo from the end of a advertisement for allergy medication (when the person can finally enjoy the flowers because of anti-histamines). It’s as though the flowers are standing proud, chests puffed out and determined. This photo was taken last year at the very start of Spring. I had gone to the New York Botanical Gardens to see the orchid display in the glass conservatory. It was an incredibly icy cold day where the wind cuts right through you and it is painful to be outside. I spotted this gorgeous hill covered in hundreds of daffodils and couldn’t pass without a photo, even though I was absolutely frozen for doing so. I love that this photo gives the absolute opposite feeling of the reality of that day, it shows a perfectly sunny day with bright blue skies and warm yellow flowers. Daffodils belong to the genus Narcissus along with jonquils. They are commonly associated with the myth of Narcissus – a man who fell in love with his reflection in a body of water and realizing that his love would never materialize he died of his sorrow. Narcissus the plant then appeared at the place of his death (Sorry, I didn’t mean to get so dark). Instead, I will end by saying that the weather is warming, and soon these very cheerful flowers will be appearing all over Central Park. Happy weekend everyone!!!

Flower Friday – Skipper Butterfly on a Dahlia Bud

Skipper Butterfly - Photograph by Laura Lecce
Skipper Butterfly – Photograph by Laura Lecce

No science today, no facts, and no biology, just an adorable little butterfly on a plump dahlia bud. Why? Because todays post is dedicated to a very dear friend of mine. This post marks a moment in time when our friendship became greater than science. We will always find science in our lives because that is what we are trained to do, and biology will continue to exist around us. Friendships however, can sneak up on us gradually without any realization that it is happening, and will truly blossom when we face moments of hardship together. Together we will survive Winter and Spring will always follow.

Spring Joeys

Spring Joeys - Photograph by Laura Lecce
Spring Joeys – Photograph by Laura Lecce

In Tasmania, like many places around the world, springtime means a lot of youngsters are finally out roaming around. Pademelons are marsupials (they have a pouch) which are particularly abundant in Tasmania, Australia. Baby pademelons are born at any time throughout the year, though higher numbers are born at the start of winter and spend the first 6 months in the warmth and safety of mums pouch.

Spring Babies

Spring Babies - Photograph by Laura Lecce
Spring Babies – Photograph by Laura Lecce

Each year the season of Spring brings with it an influx of animal youngsters growing up in the warmer months of the year. Spring time in Tasmania, Australia, is a particularly wonderful time of year where baby wombats are following their mothers around. They are incredibly cute and cuddly, and very solid little creatures. Don’t let that fool you though, as they have quite large and sharp claws for digging burrows, and can run surprisingly fast for their short little legs. This particular mum and bub was quite happy to be photographed, even sharing a very cute and cuddly moment with the camera whilst contently munching on the grass.

Cuddly Wombats - Photograph by Laura Lecce
Cuddly Wombats – Photograph by Laura Lecce