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Jul 10 2013

Mystery Flora: Water, Lily

When you’re doing intensive geology in a group, it’s hard to slow down and photograph the flowers. But I got ye a magnificent one: a single lily on the banks of the McKenzie River, right before it plunges over Koosah Falls. I scrambled down as close as I could safely get and started snapping frantically.

Mystery Flower I

Mystery Flower I

Usually, shooting a difficult subject from a tricky distance in variable light with a wildly churning background would mean only a few usable photos out of the bunch. But every single one has a different enchantment about it. So you’re getting the lot. I hope you’re as fascinated by the shapes wild water takes as I am.

Mystery Flower II

Mystery Flower II

The colors at this portion of the river are always incredible: a lovely spectrum of blues and greens, white and clear, all blending in wonderful patterns that change with each second.

Mystery Flower III

Mystery Flower III

And then there are the waves, changing the shape of the water from one instant to the next.

Mystery Flower IV

Mystery Flower IV

This next photo was taken a split-second after the above, as my camera tried to compensate for strange light. The water has changed almost completely.

Mystery Flower V

Mystery Flower V

ZOMG, the colors. Wow.

And then you get photos where it almost looks like our flower is surfing a Hawaiian wave.

Mystery Flower VI

Mystery Flower VI

Oh. Right. Flower. Got wrapped up in the water… Anyway, I did attempt to get some close-up shots of the flower so you would have an easier time with identification.

Mystery Flower VII

Mystery Flower VII

The tree made a pretty good backdrop- good contrast, there.

Mystery Flower VIII

Mystery Flower VIII

Here you can see just about the whole flower, including leaves. Those leaves should help out a great deal. And if you found that one too easy, there are some bonus mystery flowers at bottom. See?

Mystery Flower IX

Mystery Flower IX

Those are just about everywhere right now. Adorable little bell sort o’ things. But I couldn’t keep my eyes off the water and lily for long.

Mystery Flower X

Mystery Flower X

And one more, as the wave breaks.

Mystery Flower XI

Mystery Flower XI

One of my favorite spots on earth, that. And that lily added that extra bit of beauty to an already ethereal scene. Wonderful!

10 comments

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  1. 1
    rq

    Well, it’s definitely a lily.

  2. 2
    Lofty

    Watch out for its friend, the Tiger Shark Lily. it’s waiting for you at the bottom of the falls after the Temptress Lily has lured you to the edge and caused you to slip on a slimy fungoid…..
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    Love the pictures!

  3. 3
    phytophactor

    Don’t know about the lily, but note the whorled leaves. The little pink bells belong to twin-flower, Linnaea borealis named in honor of Linnaeus, the father of plant taxonomy.

    1. 3.1
      heliconia

      Fun fact: twinflowers were Linnaeus’s favourite flower, so he named the genus after himself. He also had them painted into many of his portraits (some can be seen here).

  4. 4
    Lithified Detritus

    I’m going to go with Cascade Lily, Lilium washintonianum. The name is appropriate, too, given where you found this one.

    The little guys appear to be Twinflower Linnaea borealis.

    Nice pictures!

    1. 4.1
      heliconia

      Good call on Lilium washingtonianum. I was looking at pictures of trout-lilies (Erythronium), which look similar when the petals are closed but have the wrong leaf shape, and they were driving me crazy.

  5. 5
    rq

    I agree with everyone.

    1. 5.1
      heliconia

      We’re such a hive-mind! =P

      1. rq

        Like most good hymenopterans. ;)

  6. 6
    Susannah

    I love the water in the Hawaiian wave one!

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