It wasn’t until I moved to Florida a few years ago and was able to see water lilies more frequently that I realized how much I like them. They not only add color to the ponds they reside in, but offer opportunities to see various wildlife. I often see frogs perched on top of lily pads with bees and dragonflies buzzing nearby . It’s not uncommon to find a bird or two wading through thick clusters of lilies looking for fish that must like to hide underneath their broad leaves. While I think all colors of water lilies are beautiful, this particular variety with the contrast between the vibrant magenta petals and the yellow center is one of my favorites. This photo was taken at the Florida Botanical Gardens one afternoon, where just enough sun filtered through the trees to really highlight this single water lily.
Although my family has lived in the Tampa Bay area for several years now, we are still discovering new places to visit. It took a couple of years, but we finally stumbled across the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo, and it’s become a favorite place to visit. The gardens give an excellent opportunity to view native Florida plants and learn a little bit more about some exotic tropical plants that thrive in the area. The gardens feature several retention ponds as well as the beautiful McKay Creek. The water attracts all kinds of wildlife and is especially pretty when the water lilies are in bloom. I took this photo because I loved the contrast of the purple of the lilies against the green lily pads. It wasn’t until I got to see it enlarged on my computer screen that I noticed the the frog on one of the lily pads in the foreground, and that made me like it that much more!
This water lily was photographed at the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo, FL. It was a typical late August afternoon in rainy season and while out photographing the tropical plants in bloom, an afternoon thunderstorm moved through. During rainy season it’s common for storms to move through quickly allowing the the sun back out within minutes to truly make things steamy. On this afternoon, it took a little while for the cloud cover to pass, giving me the opportunity to take a few photos with the freshly fallen rain without harsh lighting from the sun. As it turns out, the rain is what really added interest to many of my photos from that visit.