It Caught My Eye: The Passion Of The Flower

Amazing what you can see when you think outside the car (click to quadruplify):

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There’s a bank of passion flower blooms off the Ballona Creek Bikeway east of Sepulveda Boulevard that have been calling to me and my camera for about two weeks, but only on this morning were the timing and weather conditions right to find them soaking up the full illumination of the morning sun. As an added serendipitous bonus I was getting a macro shot of this blossom when the Biggest Fucking Loudest Bumble Carpenter Bee Ever that I named Maverick, buzzed the tower that is my head without proper authorization and came in for a landing to add to the already copious amount of pollen it was already packing on its back.

See how that works? The bee bellies up to the bar for some nectar and in the process pollen from the overhanging anthers gets scrubbed onto its back. Then when the bee visit other flowers the particles have the opportunity to transfer from the bee to their stigmas and voila: cross-pollination! Ain’t nature amazing?

6 Replies to “It Caught My Eye: The Passion Of The Flower”

  1. No need to fear either, actually. Except that Christianity sees the flower as symbolic to the death of Christ:

    “When Christian missionaries arrived in South America in the 16th century, they found a plant which they felt was a good omen for their mission. They called it the passion flower because to them it symbolized the death of Christ. The five sepals and five petals of the flower, which are similar in appearance, represent the disciples without Peter and Judas. The double row of colored filaments, known as the corona, signifies the halo around Christ’s head or the crown of thorns. The five stamens and the three spreading styles with their flattened heads symbolize the wounds and the nails respectively. The vines tendrils resemble the whips used to scourge Christ.

  2. So pretty…I heard that the passion flowers over there are actually getting a bit invasive and crowding out the natural flora.

    I’m also glad I’m not the only one to name the bees. I have one of those black ones in my backyard I call Hefty because he 33 gallons of buzz. There’s the bumblebee I call Polly (short for Pollenator), because he can hit 50 flowers in under 2 minutes and leave with a pound of yellow hanging off him. I also have a hummingbird I named Marble because she will just sit still for 3 minutes at a time. I didn’t even know that was possible in a hummingbird.

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