In the yard today – passionflowers, of course, plus other things.

I spent some time in the yard today with my Canon Rebel T2i.  I love the convenience of having a camera in my phone, but it just doesn’t have the glass… with a 60mm macro lens, I can get a lot more detail, and catch more interesting things.


IMG_6910This is the Passiflora caerulea vine that has gone into the creekside and grows up the dead sumac bush.

IMG_6910-001Even with a considerable distance, the macro lens gets right in there.

IMG_6904-001There’s an ant on this anther.

IMG_6963-001Another flower on the same vine.  The three bees were wrestling all over one another in a pile, and it seemed really odd – they usually do that for pollen, but not so much nectar in the passionflowers.  Then, when I was looking at the images in the camera, I realized that they have RIPPED OFF the pollen anthers, and are working them over in the middle of the flower.  They remind me of Macbeth’s witches around their cauldron.

IMG_6955-003A bumblebee on Passiflora incarnata.

IMG_6955-002This one, I could get right above – so I could focus close, and get a lot of detail.  I really do love the camera, and this lens.

IMG_6955-001It’s the bee’s knees.  Those are pollen grains.

IMG_6931Passiflora incarnata “Bill’s Delight.”

IMG_6932-001Close up on the center of the flower.

IMG_6943-001These corona filaments swirl around themselves in very odd patterns.

IMG_6930-002…and this flower is pollinating itself.   I just hope it doesn’t go blind.  I love how the anther looks like a tongue licking the stigma.

IMG_6917-002This exceptionally handsome Viceroy butterfly, Limenitis archippus, has set up a territory which includes the fig tree, the Maximilian sunflowers, and part of the creekside brush.  He will aggressively chase any of the Fritilaries or other butterflies that come close, and sometimes he even buzzes the wasps.  He’s a little petty tyrant.

IMG_6915-001At least he’s pretty.

IMG_6925I now have four different species of Cestrum – this is Cestrum aurantium “Orange Zest.”  It’s hardy in our zone, and shoots out these bundles of cheery orange-yellow flowers all summer long.

IMG_6926-001I just wish they were as fragrant as their cousins – Cestrum nocturnum is my favorite fragrant flower in the world; I keep a bush in a pot, and bring it in to the bedroom when it’s in flower.  It only flowers at night.  This one has pretty flowers all day long – but no smell at all.

12 replies
  1. Carla
    Carla says:

    Can’t get enough of your passion flowers, Michael! The viceroy is indeed pretty. Are you still keeping chickens?

  2. glennis
    glennis says:

    wonderful photos. and the wee incense that arrived has already grown 30 fold! now to contain it to the back fence!

  3. Carli H
    Carli H says:

    Really so glad to have found your site, quite by accident. But as a quilter I love seeing this process and would really like to exchange blog links with you.
    carli the quilter@ gmail dot com

  4. Denise Grimshaw
    Denise Grimshaw says:

    Hi Michael!

    I was so excited to find your blog after reading about your passion vines and chickens. But I notice you’ve not posted since 2013. Does this mean you’re no longer about? Crossing my fingers that that is not the case.

    Dragons! Because they rock!


  5. Michael
    Michael says:


    I’m still around. I’ve found that Facebook has been easier to keep updated, although I do miss the more thought-out, considerate approach that blogging gives. If you want to follow me on Facebook, look me up there – I’m not going to post a link, because I get enough spam, but I’m not hard to find.

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