Fragrant White Water Lily (Nymphaea odorata)
I'm always looking for the perfect water lily and its leaves on the beaver pond in August, for little green snakes and frogs resting on the leaves in the sunlight and rainbow winged dragonflies floating above the glossy reflecting waters. At the moment, the pond is lower than it usually is, but white water lilies are blooming there nevertheless, and they light up a late summer morning wonderfully.
Beavers swim by, or muskrats perch on the far shore and peer at the blundering human on the threshold of their home. Herons and bitterns stand perfectly still in the reeds, and they are difficult to see until they move. One day, an otter climbed on a nearby rock and stared at me curiously for a while before dismounting and swimming up a connecting river against the roistering current - she yawned occasionally showing the bright red interior of her mouth and a wickedly sharp set of teeth. Until winter arrives and the pond freezes over, there is always something going on here.
Water lilies and their heart-shaped leaves are homes to legions of pond insect life, and the tiny residents make their way into almost every image taken. The occasional unblemished, silvery and unattended leaf notwithstanding, each festooned and nibbled oval is lovely just as it is. Little green snakes, frogs and dragonflies, bees, beetles, thrips and leafcutter - all are splendid icing on this wild and watery late summer cake.