Friday Flower – Balsamroot with a backdrop of Tetons

Wildflowers with the Tetons – Photograph By Laura Lecce

These beautiful, bright and sunny wildflowers are known commonly as balsamroot, or scientifically called Balsamorhiza. They are a member of the sunflower family and make a stunning foreground for a photo of the Teton mountain range. They are a golden flag for the Spring season and provide food for many grass and plant eating animals such as deer, elk, pronghorn and bighorn sheep. There were many grassy valleys and hillsides inundated with large tufts of golden flowers, and they appear in so many of my wildlife photos. They wildflowers really brightened up my trip and I hope they brighten up your weekend, have a great one everyone!

Friday Flower – A close look at a zinnia

Zinnia close up – Photograph by Laura Lecce

Sometimes it’s more interesting to look at something familiar from a different perspective to gain renewed appreciation. Have you ever looked at a zinnia this close before? I discovered a tiny forest of golden furry trees arranged in a perfect circle surrounded by a bed of brilliant red petals. Each yellow tree has a trunk filled with nectar that attracts bees, butterflies and moths. Each visitor gets a secret powdering of yellow pollen to transport to subsequent flowers, unknowingly becoming a pollen postal service. I go the garden to relax, unwind and refresh my mind, and while everything around me may seem tranquil, it is in fact the opposite – each and every flower, every insect and every plant is very hard at work.

Red zinnia – Photograph by Laura Lecce

Friday Flower – Yellow zinnia with a yellowjacket

Yellow zinnia with a yellowjacket – Photography by Laura Lecce

This cute little bug might seem adorable sitting on a matching, bright yellow flower, but do not be deceived as it is a fearsome, predatory wasp. A yellowjacket wasp that lives in a colony underground and can pack a pretty nasty sting as many times as it wants. If you disturb or injure one of these wasps near their home, they send out a distress signal to all of their friends and relatives as a sign that they must attack and defend. At that point you have no choice but to make a run for it! Cute photo though.

Friday Flower – A sunny Dahlia is irresistible to bees

The sunniest dahlia – Photograph by Laura Lecce

A bright sunny dahlia such as this is absolutely irresistible to bees…. and to myself. Bees (as am I) are mostly attracted to bright colored flowers, which is why wearing a brightly colored shirt may also attract bees, and also why beekeeper suits are white. Bees also have favorite colors which are yellow, blue and violet and dislike red which they actually see as black. They can also see the ultraviolet part of the spectrum which human eyes cannot detect. The world must look very different in the eyes of a bee, but despite this, we share a common appreciation of bright sunny dahlias. Happy weekend everyone!

For other beautiful dahlias please click here.

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.

Yellow Heliconia

Yellow Heliconia – Photograph by Laura Lecce

These beautiful plants are known for a range of colored flowers predominantly seen in red, orange and yellow. They are mostly a tropical plant and are unsurprisingly related to the Bird of Paradise (of which the flowers look very similar) and also bananas (which look like a larger version of this plant). The flower produces nectar to attract pollinators such as hummingbirds. If you ever decide you want a tropical-looking garden, the inclusion of some different heliconias are a must and fairly easy to grow. The luscious green foliage and bright splash of flower color will certainly brighten up your day. Happy weekend everyone!

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!!!