During the months of July and August the water lilies flower at our local lake.  To me they’re endlessly fascinating and I spend ages paddling around them trying to find the best angle for a photo whilst fighting the windage on the kayak, the wake I’m creating trying to stay still and the flowers own propensity to be dragged under the water for a few seconds by the slightest movement of the otherwise calm lake!  It can be a tad frustrating at times!  These pictures were taken last Sunday morning.

But patience is a virtue that I am occasionally blessed with, especially when it comes to all things natural, like the water lilies.  I eventually got this  shot:

And here’s me before it was taken, struggling to get into position!

Paddling around a bit more we came across a little cove that was absolutely bulging with water lilies, and these weren’t no ordinary ones either, these were triffids of the aquatic plant world!  I do not jest, we were completely stunned by the size of these beauties, think dinner plate size flowers and you’ll be somewhere close!  They were growing in about 2ft of water (I measured by sticking my paddle in vertically and taking a note of the water line) but most were stretching their flowers at least another 2ft out of the water, unusual for water lilies as I’ve always considered them to be surface flowers.  What do you think of these amazing beauties?  And I’m making no excuses for the quantity of photos I’m including with this post!

And they stretched all the way to the bank, it was like a forest of water lilies.  Almost all the flowers were full of little bees and other pollen gathers and they were having a crazy feeding frenzy, they were absolutely frantic in their search for the pollen!  If I didn’t know any better I would say they were completely intoxicated by these lilies.  The scent for us was heavenly, very sweet, almost gardenia like with a hint of vanilla.

The flower buds were a bit on the large side too!  Now, all these photos so far don’t really show you the true size of these plants, but here’s a flower that Andrew was holding for me and his hand is visible.  He has big hands by the way, really big hands!

And those huge inner yellow bits where the seeds are stored, wanna see what they look like without the surrounding frilly bits and petals?  They end up about three times the size of when they’re part of the flower…. wonder how many seeds are in here?

We like to play a game with the leaves too.  We dip our paddles in to the water and let the droplets run off onto the leaves, which are incredibly water resistant!  It’s like watching little diamonds run off all sparkly and glinting in the sun.  If you get it just right a few little drops will stay and then you can take photos like this:

This game can keep us amused for quite a long time!  And have you ever pushed down and felt the buoyancy of water lily leaves?  It’s really quite incredible just how much pressure you have to exert to push them below the surface, and it’s really hard to hold them there too!  No wonder the Victorians delighted in taking photos of people standing on giant water lily leaves!  I wouldn’t mind doing it myself, but I’d have to find some with bigger leaves than these ones first!!