A couple of days ago, I spent the entire morning and a good chunk of the afternoon outdoors, in the company of various herbaceous plants that grow near the sea, in the bay of Liznjan.
Most of the plants were in bloom, so I was able to photograph a nice variety of petals.
Here you can see the flowers of the Malva sylvestris ...
... that grew on the lawn of the children's park near the harbor. The red thing in the background it's a seesaw. After taking this wide shot that includes a bit of the scenery ...
... it was time to get seriously close ...
... and explore one of the flowers through the macro lens.
Pollen grains look like lovely little pearls.
In this photograph, a petal of the neighboring flower somehow ended up in front of the lens creating the pinky blur that gives an artsy feel to the scene.
Not far from there, ten or twelve meters further, always on the lawn, I photographed the small flowers ...
... of the Petrorhagia saxifraga plant.
Here you can see an aphid that was feeding on the plant's juices under the petals of one of those flowers.
In this case, I used the macro lens for every photograph. Getting good, sharp & clear shots of these flowers without those lenses wouldn't have been possible.
This yellow, dandelion-like flower of the Sonchus maritimus plant, was photographed closer to the sea.
As you can see here, the day was gray and cloudy.
While exploring the details of the flowers through the macro lens ...
... I found another minuscule aphid. Unlike the one found on the Petrorhagia saxifraga, this one was hidden among the petals near the center of the composite flower.
This structure that looks like a bud that will soon turn into a new flower, is what remains when the flower is gone. The petals have fallen and now is time for the seed to form inside. You can recognize this by the white fluffy stuff protruding from the top. The seeds have little parachutes.
The composite flower shown in this photograph belongs to a plant that grows even closer to the sea.
The Limbarda crithmoides.
Here you can see a dense growth of plants typical for the sea cliffs and salt marsh habitats in this area. Limbarda crithmoides is in the foreground, while behind it, you can see the Sarcocornia fruticosa.
While all the plants in the bay are interesting, and I had plenty of fun portraiting them, this one was definitively the highlight of the day.
It's an orchid and is getting rare in this area.
The flowers are very small, so the plant doesn't look like an orchid from a distance. But through the macro lens, you can easily recognize the iconic shape of an orchid flower.
The name of the species is Spiranthes spiralis. One look at its spiral flowering stalk makes it immediately clear why the word "spiralis" is in the scientific name.
It's a delicate plant that needs time to complete what's needed for reproduction. Eight years to produce the above-ground parts and another three years to get a flowering stalk. Furthermore, it mostly flowers once every few years, and if the times are haard¸ the conditions are less than comfortable, it won't surface at all.
A small caterpillar was feeding among the flowers.
This is the larva of a moth. Probably a young larva that will undergo some changes before pupating.
I encounter this kind of caterpillar very often, I photographed them many times and on various plants, but I'm still unable to tell you the name of the species.
The plant shown in this, and the following seven photographs, wasn't in bloom.
We'll take a little break from the petals in this segment of the post. The focus will be on the leaves ...
... and what looks like stems or branches.
Stems or branches that have created an interesting pattern down on the ground.
I was convinced that the plants for this post wouldn't be hard to identify.
And for the most part, that turned out to be true. But in this case, I can't tell you the name of this interesting species.
While photographing the lovely carpet created by the growth of the slightly mysterious plant with no flowers on display ...
... I noticed the elegant empty shell of the Pomatias elegans, a terrestrial snail from the Pomatiidae family. These snails are fairly closely related to the Littorinidae sea snails that in most cases inhabit the intertidal zone.
In the following photograph ...
... the focus is again on the flowers.
The tiny flowers of the Asperula aristata plant.
A couple of days ago, when all these photographs were taken ...
... most of the Silene vulgaris flowers were at the end of their cycle, the petals had recently withered and fallen ...
... but I did find a few petals among them.
This flower has also passed its prime but the shriveled petals were still there.
Here you can see three Silene vulgaris flowers with petals in three slightly different stages of decay.
This lovely blue flower ...
... was produced by the Cichorium intybus plant.
While walking around with my eyes glued to the ground, I was trying to find as many different shapes of petals as possible.
The ones shown in this and the previous photograph are very different from other stuff shown so far in this post.
These are the flowers ...
... of the Salvia verbenaca.
Most of the Salvia verbenaca plants I encountered that day had pale flowers ...
... but the color can vary in this species.
Here you can take a more up-close look at one of those interesting flowers. In the following photograph ...
... you can see another plant with no flowers to offer currently. This is the Allium commutatum.
A bit further I came across a Sonchus maritimus plant with the small Theba pisana snail on the stem under one of its flowers, and then ...
... a bunch of Sonchus maritimus flowers ...
... that grew under the Allium commutatum.
At first sight, it looked like the yellow flowers belong to the Allium commutatum.
Here, along with the lovely mix of the two plants, you can see a bit of scenery as well, and the fishing boats tied to the pier in the background.
A bit later, after photographing this Centaurea jacea plant ...
... that grew among the coastal rock ...
... I came across another lovely floral arrangement made of Allium commutatum leaves and Sonchus maritimus flowers.
When I came closer, I found a leafhopper nymph on one of those elongated leaves.
At first sight, the green lawn didn't look very inspiring, but the more I was exploring more amazing details kept appearing before my eyes.
The seagulls often fly above the harbor and walk across the lawn ...
... so you can always find a feather or two among the grass and flowers.
This is the Diplotaxis muralis flower. I took the above photograph, and then ...
... a gnat landed to feed. Gnats are small mosquito-like flies from the suborder Nematocera. Quite a few different species are commonly known as gnats. I don't know which one exactly is this.
About twenty, maybe even thirty meters from the Diplotaxis muralis, isolated in a completely green patch of the lawn with no other flowers around ...
... I found this lovely little flower ...
... of the Ononis spinosa plant.
These yellow flowers, more or less the same size as the Ononis spinosa one, belong to the Lotus corniculatus plant.
After photographing the flowers ...
... in the vegetation around them ...
... I found a small, partially iridescent leafhopper.
A bit later, on the coastal rocks, while photographing the tiny Crithmum maritimum flowers ...
... a Plagiolepis pygmaea appeared on the scene ...
... so you can see the minuscule ant feeding on nectar here.
The small flowers shown in this photograph were photographed a couple of meters further ...
... in the area where the rocks meet the lawn.
The name of this plant is Teucrium capitatum.
Here you can see the buds that will become flowers soon.
Here you can see a mix of buds and flowers.
And that's it.
Here, with the Teucrium capitatum, the post ends.
The following links will take you to the sites with more information about some of the protagonists of this post. I found some stuff about them there.
AS ALWAYS HERE ON HIVE, THE PHOTOGRAPHS ARE MY WORK.