Metamorphosis

Today’s Post by Mildred Alpern

The flowers of summer inevitably give way to the seeds of autumn and winter. It is the inevitable metamorphosis of the bud-flower-seed cycle. What is striking is the nature of the transformation, the way in which the seedhead may differ so distinctly from the flower.

A prime example is the blackberry lily, a member of the iris family, now in high bloom in my neighborhood park. It is a diminutive flower also known as the leopard lily for its splattered red freckles. Its green seed pod is large and bulbous containing the blackberry-like seed clusters that will emerge in autumn.

It took me a while to tie the vivid orange flower and the shiny seeds together. In fact, I had shot the seed clusters last fall and could not figure out the flower that had produced the seedheads. But recently, when I shot the blackberry lily, I began a determined website search and discovered the relationship. What a surprise! The seed pod, now green, will turn tan in the fall and split to reveal the blackberry-like seeds. I will be on alert in late September to record that remarkable change.

All images were shot with the Olympus E-M5 Mark II; the blackberry seedheads with the Lensbaby Velvet 56 f/1.6 and the blackberry lily with the Lensbaby Pro Composer II Optic f/3.2 lens with its close-focus function enabled by extending the end of the lens barrel. Since these are manual lenses, EXIF data is not available, however, the images were shot in the wider apertures, hence their dreamy glows.

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Mildred’s book Haiku and Images is available on Amazon and is filled wit h beautifully reproduced color photographs along with original haiku underneath, embellishing the image and deepening its meaning. Pick up a copy to give as  gift for yourself or a friend.