Thursday, January 10, 2008

Worth the wait: The camilla bud

A few days ago I posted a picture of a camellia bud in my garden.
The bud had opened just enough to show color in mid December and seemed to open no further for several weeks.

Yesterday the bud finally opened and fully became a bloom.

A single pop of deep rose pink in an otherwise flowerless garden.

Pretty eye catching, eh?

Imagine you were out on a walk and you saw that bloom along side your path.

Would seeing the wide view of the garden and single bloom be enough for you?

Or would you step over for a closer look?

And would you then consider the composition of the petals?

See the delicate droplets adorning the bloom, sparkling like jewels?
Would you smile then and think that you had now seen the flower fully?
Would you then continue on with your walk?
Or would you look closer still...and see the flow of stamen white against the deep rosy color?

Stamen swimming out from the heart of the flower, with velvety golden points...

Tips that are pointed like arrow heads.

Gold dusted heart shapes.
Bits of the gold are gilding the petals...powdered gold traces of genetic promise.

Thoughts of Georgia O'Keefe...of botany....of genetics drift about.
"Be fruitful, and multiply..."
The golden pollen is a witness to the obedience of the flower to its Maker.
A party gown...a ribbon flower...light and shadow...ruffles and folds.

Why was the wave of stamen divided by one wrinkled petal?

How could I draw this?
How would I paint this?
The sparkles are so fine...
A child would touch...and bear tell tale yellow upon tiny fingers.
A yellow smudge would betray a curious nose.

All this beauty would fit within the palm of my hand.

Yet my eye can scarcely begin to take it all in.
My mind can scarcely conceive that this glorious beauty was created to last only days.
But I saw it, and photographed it, and traveled through it with my eyes and my mind fully engaged in observation.
And because of that, this flower can now last forever.
And can be enjoyed, potentially, by millions.
(PS: Last year this bush had dozens of flowers. This year it was pruned as it was becoming leggy and weak. The bush produced only two buds this year; the second bud is still green and hard and is located low on the bush. It is an added treat that this first bloom was front and center on the bush where I can enjoy it easily.)
(PSS: If you look closely at the last picture, you can see on one side where the stamen has yet to release it's pollen. And along one petal edge you can see a fringe. The veins of the petals are also worth studying. The more I look, the more I always see. This morning, after I posted this, there was a bee visiting the flower. I'll post those pictures tomorrow.)

4 comments:

Lovella said...

Excellent photography. I love to look carefully and closely at flowers too. Sadly it seems like we have more than we can take in (like Minter Gardens) and then the winter starves us of this beauty.
I wonder how much more the beauty of spring and summer was appreciated when photography was in its early stages.

Sara said...

Beauty always calls us for a closer look - right into the heart of God - don't you think?

I feel the same way when I visit the Aquarium of the Pacific here in town and see all those incredibly patterned tropical fish; which reminds me, that would be another good place to take photos. There, and Huntington Library & Gardens, per your request (last time they were renovating the buildings but the gardens were fantastic as always).

Vicki said...

How beautiful is this color and how poetic are you! This reminds me that I'm about to miss the Camilla display at Leu Gardens...I guess this will be the last year of my membership (sniff).

corinne said...

Wow! You did more than just 'stop and smell the flowers'. Nice pictures.