Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Today was another overcast with occasional light rain day. Light conditions like these have produced some amazing arbutus photos. These pictures were taken behind the arbutus wall. All of these blossoms are pink but that color cannot be seen in this picture.
The camera chooses its point of focus and here the hairs that line the flower tube are clearly visible. Scroll in on this photo and see more that the naked eye would ever see.
Last year I was horrified to find female flower tubes covering the ground in front of female plants. Yesterday I watched a bumble bee working arbutus flowers. Today I had the camera and caught one in the act. Again I watched as the bee pushed its enormous head into the open flowers. I did not see it pop blossoms free but am relatively certain of the cause of the flower caps that litter the ground.
The tan structures that resemble wheat seeds in the lower flower identify this plant as male, The open flower above it has no visible sexual parts. Some insect may have carried them off.
More tan organs are visible here and they are covered with mature pollen. Foot traffic inside of the flower resulted in pollen stains on the petals.
This was intended to be just a picture of flowers pulled free of the plant. The leftmost cluster of flowers clearly shows two green five pointed stars that capture pollen for fertilization. They are just above twin pine needles. I did not see them until I was looking at the pictures. This may be the best photo of the year.