Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Full circle

with 10 comments

While the change from pristine white to reddish magenta shown in the last photograph signals the approaching doom of a rain-lily flower, it’s surprising to find out that a similarly warm color also marks the rain-lily’s slender bud in a way that gives no hint of the dazzling white that will soon emerge from what’s encased within. The elongated shape of a bud foreshadows that of the aging, collapsing flower, except that the bud is still full of an energy that keeps its form streamlined and under tight and tapering control.

On September 20, two days after I took the morning pictures that appeared in the last three posts, I returned to the site late in the afternoon so I could photograph the colony in a different and warmer light. Somehow I’d never showed a picture of a rain-lily bud last year or earlier this year, so it was high time to make up for the omission. This bud and others were still emerging from the colony, even if most of the flowers had already added varying amounts of magenta.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 23, 2012 at 6:14 AM

10 Responses

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  1. Sometimes I worry about myself, just a little. The first words that popped to mind when I saw this glorious bud were “Audrey Hepburn”. On the other hand, she certainly had some of the same simplicity and elegance as this bud. It’s a marvelous photo. It’s also quite amazing that such a pretty white flower emerges from this bud.


    September 23, 2012 at 6:30 AM

    • Audrey Hepburn as rain-lily (or vice versa) because of slenderness, grace, and simplicity is okay by me any day, so if you’re going to worry, please worry some on my behalf, too.

      Although I’d photographed rain-lily buds before, for some reason I never paid as much attention as this time to the color and patterns of one, and especially the way the initial color mostly disappears in the fully open flower, only to reappear increasingly toward the end.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 23, 2012 at 9:09 AM

  2. What a wonderful series of pictures. The bud, the full flower, and the aged flower.


    September 23, 2012 at 11:30 AM

  3. Exquisitely beautiful grace and simplicity! Perfect!!!


    September 23, 2012 at 6:52 PM

    • Thank you. There are times when I really lean toward simplicity (say minimalism if you wish), and this is one of those times.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 23, 2012 at 9:03 PM

  4. Another stunning image!


    September 24, 2012 at 12:57 PM

  5. Thanks, David. And thanks to rain-lilies for existing.

    Steve Schwartzman

    September 24, 2012 at 1:01 PM

  6. I have really enjoyed this series, Steve! I grew rain lilies in pots a few times; they are too tender to survive here over winter but such lovely flowers. I really enjoyed seeing the flowers in a variety of stages – just beautiful!


    September 24, 2012 at 2:44 PM

    • You grew rain-lilies in pots and I in posts, each of us several times. I’m glad you’ve enjoyed them there and here, glad also that you appreciate seeing them in different stages as much as I do.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 24, 2012 at 2:59 PM

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