Discovery Friday

I love to take close-up flower pictures. When I go to nursery to purchase flower plants, I chose the ones with attractive details, or the ones I think would make a good image. Unfortunately I don’t have a green thumb and my plan does not always work out. Plus, the bugger squirrels have been trespassing.
Among all things growing in my yard, rhododendrons are the one grow year after year as long as they are fertilized. They are everywhere in Oregon that not many people here think they are special. Their flowers are beautiful, but it is hard to get clean and crisp shots from them because the large blossoms (combination of small flowers) are too big for close-ups. The small flowers do not have intricate and mysterious center, not interesting enough, that’s what I thought earlier.  I have at least 8 rhododendron bushes, but I have never thought about to photograph them.
Today I suddenly had a thought. I should give myself a challenge to shoot anyway regardless I like it or not.  I should look at them from different angles and see what I can get out of it. Creative process is an experimental process. Just give it a try, who knows what will happen.
It is a mostly-cloudy day. Sun came up every once a while and stay for a very short time. Immediately when I set up my tripod, it went away.  Then, it started to rain. I didn’t want my camera to get wet, so I packed up and went inside the house.  Not long when I came back to my computer, I saw bright sunlight.  A whole day of playing hide-n-seek with Sun, I got a few shots. I wish they are better, but I am content. I have stepped out to take their pictures for my new experiment. And, look what I found? The distinguished stigma (fuchsia color, on the very left). The white color heads are stamen.

stigma (fuchsia color), stamen (white)

I cannot believe that I have been photographing flower stigma, but I have never known that stigma and stamen are co-existing in the flower and they look different. If I did not give myself this task to shoot rhododendron today, I would never disclose this mystery to myself.

This discovery really get me interested to look at the center of the peony shots I just took last week. The images explain clearly which is stigma and which is stamen.  Female appears to be more distinctive than male in flower world.

stigma (onion like), stamen (yellow)
stigma (pink, in the center), stamen (yellow)

PS. All these flowers have stunning colors. I have added textures to tone them down. Peony is admired
as “Flowers of Richness”( 富貴花) in my original culture.

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