Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

A fallen coreopsis ray flower

with 4 comments

Tiny Fly on Pond Surface by Fallen Coreopsis Ray 8667A

Click for greater clarity.

On May 30th I once again saw some coreopsis plants near water, but this time at Springfield Park in southeast Austin, and the water wasn’t much more than a puddle. I noticed that a ray flower had fallen from one of the coreopsis flower heads and was floating on the water. It helps not to weigh much.

When I knelt and looked more closely, I saw that a tiny fly had landed on what was now a yellow raft. I took some pictures of the insect on the floating ray flower, when to my surprise the fly walked right off its raft and onto the surface of the puddle. Like I said, it helps not to weigh much.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 22, 2013 at 6:23 AM

4 Responses

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  1. This is a beautiful photo – the story completes it


    June 22, 2013 at 9:05 AM

    • Thanks, Nora. Many pictures can stand on their own, but in this case it helps to know the story.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 22, 2013 at 9:10 AM

  2. Surface tension! The same principle that helps the water strider scoot around helped this fly – along with his light weight, of course. Surface tension isn’t going to do you or me much good.

    There’s a neat article about surface tension here, and if you scroll down a bit to the examples there’s a water strider link that has a couple of fine photographs.

    What I wonder is if the bee can take off from the surface of the water. Probably so, or he would have stayed with his raft. 😉


    June 23, 2013 at 8:33 PM

    • Yes, surface tension, aided I think in this case by many small particles floating on that film of water. I’ve often noticed water striders, but what surprised me here was the ability of an insect not normally found on water (as far as I know) to walk upon it at will. Your guess is as good as mine whether we’re looking at the insect analogue of a sea plane.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 23, 2013 at 10:03 PM

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