Wednesday, August 28, 2013

They Don’t Call It a Passion Flower for Nothing

I’ve always liked passion flowers, with their exotic colors, wavy petals, and pop-up anthers and stigmas, as if they were wearing a Carmen Miranda hat. A passion flower looks otherworldly and yet also, just so slightly, artificial: the kind of flower that should adorn a cocktail glass filled with a bright blue mixed drink named something like “Pacific Crush.”

That said, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that it’s something of a good-time flower.

Of course, all flowers are by their very nature good-time gals (and guys). I’ve always been intrigued by pollination, a remarkable adaption through which flowering plants have contrived a means of having sex via animals. Pretty kinky, when you stop to think about it; who thought that daisies had it in ‘em?

And of course the animals get something out of it as well. Nectar, for one thing, of course. But I see bees rolling about ecstatically in the bowls of wild roses, and I can’t help but think that they’re having some fun of their own.

I wondered about this again today, when I saw enormous bees (I think they were carpenter bees) absolutely obsessed with passion flowers.

These bees were covered with pollen as they made their circuits around the flowers, greedily sucking up every bit of sweetness with an intensity that certainly seemed lustful. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such an enthusiastic example of pollination; the bees were utterly enraptured:

["Yes! Yes! This side!"]

["Now this side!"]

["Now this side too!"--She seemed to say.]

A better person would have looked away, but, as we’ve already established, I am not that person. Instead, I took pictures for your prurient perusal.

Somebody ought to be ashamed.

{A note: I do write all text and take all pictures. Please do not reproduce either without my permission.}

1 comment:

Anca said...

Astounding photos! I love passion flowers, too. Alas, they're annuals in our zone. And you are a shameless voyeuse.

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