Bract Photos

Ladybug Daisy
Monday, April 1, 2013
Ladybug Daisy

Recently I found some aphids on the blossoms of one of my cacti. Rather than spray or use soap we went down to the hardware store and got a little box of lady bugs. Most of the nurseries or home and garden stores keep them in little refrigerators, kind of dormant just waiting for an assignment. Mine had two jobs... get the bugs, and look pretty for the camera while doing it.


Amaryllis Christmas Flower
Monday, December 5, 2011
Amaryllis Christmas Flower

Blooming amaryllis flower. This is the biggest Amaryllis I have ever seen. The bulb is amazing, and as the first bud started to work it's way out I could see there were going to be quite a few blossoms. I loved the curves of the blossoms as they opened, and my timing was perfect. A few minutes after this shot was taken the inflorescence was completely open and the five buds were all pointing in different directions.


Shadowy Bougainvillea
Friday, September 19, 2008
Shadowy Bougainvillea

Most of the time the best lighting is not the direct lighting. At the same time I took this there was quite a bit of sun on the other side of the bush. Those shots were great, but this was my favorite.

It's probably a good thing I can entertain myself in the back yard so easily. When the banks all go out of business I can probably still afford my hobby. 'Course I'm going to need to look at some old Gilligan's Island episodes to design my bike generator to keep the web server on.


Gulf Fritillary in the Back Yard
Saturday, September 6, 2008
Gulf Fritillary in the Back Yard

Our babies are growing up! A couple of years ago we got a couple of vines, (a Passion Flower and a Mandevilla) to try to coax the beautiful butterflies to stay in our back yard. They almost wiped out the Passion Flower completely the first year. This year the original vines are each about four times the original size, and we have two additional Passion Flowers about the same size. That was finally enough to support the caterpillar crop this year. This is one of four butterflies that we suspect were recently caterpillars in the Passion Flowers and now spend most of the days fluttering and playing in the back yard.


Tropical Swirl
Tuesday, May 8, 2007
Tropical Swirl

I like how this rose caught that drop of water in the top. This is another shot from the backyard. Yeah, I know, it's a theme lately "the Back Yard". But my hound hurt her foot and I did not get my birthday trip to Monterey yet. Maybe later this month! Oooh the flowers that are blooming there this time of year!


Bouganvilla
Sunday, March 25, 2007
Bouganvilla

There is always something blooming around here! Which is great for someone who loves to take flower pictures. This is the Bougainvillea that we have coaxed over our back fence, it's always happy. So happy in fact I just had to tuck all it's new growth in so the gardeners don't come by and cut it.

As I recall, last year this time I almost had to change the name of the site to "The Calla Lily of the Day," since they go wild this time of year too. Fortunately, this year we planted some spring bulbs out front and they are looking good already so I'll have lots of subjects to keep things interesting. Now all I need is more time to play with my cameras. Too bad that won't grow as easily. :-D


Yellow Canna Bract
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Yellow Canna Bract

This is another Canna that my mom sent me as a bulb about 10 years ago. It has bloomed a couple of times each year for the last few years but it never had such a cool leaf or bract around the flowers like this. Even in the back yard there are always new surprises.


Bougainvillea
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Bougainvillea

One of the important tasks I had to do to get ready for the holiday was clean up our giant Bougainvillea.

When we moved in, we noticed this plant peeking under our fence. On the outside of the fence they keep it trimmed back so often it can barely bloom. We decided to coax it over to our side. It is now in a huge arch over our fence and it is constantly covered in blooms.

I think it appreciates the chance to grow. Rather than trim it, I tuck the new growth in and tie it so it goes in the direction we want it to. I do this about once a month which is just often enough that the new growth has not quite wooded over yet so I can still train it to go where I want without breaking it. My wife fed it with a high phosphorus fertilizer (10-50-10) one time that is supposed to promote blooms, and it really worked!


Pink and White Bougainvillea
Monday, September 25, 2006
Pink and White Bougainvillea

The Bougainvillea are going wild around here right now. This one is in a hanging basket in my neighbor's yard.


Daisy Study
Thursday, August 31, 2006
Daisy Study

I really like this shot because, not only can you make out the individual flowers in the center of the daisy, but you can see the different stages of their development. In the center they have not opened yet, but has you move out you can see the stages of the flowers' development.

This is not the first time I have enjoyed the structure of a daisy on the photo of the day.


Backyard Rose Bud
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Backyard Rose Bud

Well most of our tomatoes have faded in the hot weather. But the roses are still happy! This one is just about to burst.

I really enjoy close up photography. The green covering of the bud is made of modified leaves called bracts. But I never really appreciated the tiny little leaves sticking out from the edges of the bracts before. There is a lot of beauty out there!


Bougainvillea Sunlight
Tuesday, May 9, 2006
Bougainvillea Sunlight

This is a nice Bougainvillea that was growing on the outside of our fence. We have been coaxing it up into an archway over our gate. It is starting to bloom like crazy and it is quite a site especially in the evenings when the light shines through it.


Bougainvillea Bracts Close-up
Tuesday, February 7, 2006
Bougainvillea Bracts Close-up

This is one of those plants like a Poinsettia. The red things are actually technically more like leaves than actual flowers, they are called "Bracts." The real flower is a small white bloom that comes out from the center of the groups of red leaves. You can see a couple of the buds in this photo.

Although they are not technically part of the flower the bracts serve an important role in the pollination of the plant. They act as kind of a beacon for pollinators that might otherwise miss the small white flowers as they fly by.

Daisies are another type of plant with a similar structure. What is commonly called a daisy flower is actually a cluster of small flowers (called the Capitulum) surrounded by bracts. In this image the bracts are white and the capitulum is yellow.