at Saddle Rock, Long Island,
in early June 2002

  It is very easy for me to take facts for granted. For instance, less than a month ago, I photographed the newly opening rhodendron bud, shown below. Very leathery and prehistoric, isn't it! Anyway, I assumed that the flower progression would be that those buds would open directly into flower petals.
Rhododendron bud
  Was I ever mistaken! The source bud opens not immediately to petals but to an entire cluster of lavender buds, and each bud opens into its own individual flower.

The photo below shows three separate rhododendron flowers in their different stages of development.

The lower-center flower is a base bud somewhat more open than the photo above. The flower on the left has both lavender buds and open and opening flowers. The right shows the rhododendron in all its glory as a cluster of delicate flowers and waving stamens.

Three rhododendron flowers
  Photography note: The pictures were taken with a Pentax LX and a Voigtlander 125mm macro lens.
Water lilies   |   Dew macros, spring 2001

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