Lotuses in Bloom

Every summer brings a pleasant little surprise to the residents of North Kingstown.  Along Boston Neck Road is a small little pond. I'm not talking about the large pond that runs along Annaquatucket and under the road, but it's neighboring little little pond, about 30 feet or so in diameter.  It is full of Lotus flowers and every summer in the high heat they bloom for a very short period of time.  I'm not sure where they came from or who planted them so long ago, but they've become a highly anticipated summer treat!  This year, they bloomed just about at the beginning of July and already all the blossoms have withered, leaving the seed pods exposed.  For those of us who are lucky enough to drive by this small secret spot every day know exactly when they've come to bloom, and every year more and more visitors can be seen on the side of the road stopping on their way to work or back from the beach to take pictures and catch a glimpse of these magnificent flowers.

Large and radiant, lotus flowers are a sign of purity in many eastern religions. In Buddhism they signify purity of mind, body and soul, rising tall above the murky water to bloom. In the East many parts of the flower are used in cooking and rituals, honored and revered throughout story and art. With a large commanding presence, the flowers in North Kingstown bloom probably about 7 feet tall from root to flower (I'm just estimating here, but at one spot where you can stand on a rock at water level, several flowers are definitely taller than I am).

I captured these wonderful flowers on my digital camera on the way to work in Newport one day, as well as a couple of frames on my Holga (I'll be sure to share once the film is developed!). I was planning a return trip with my large format camera but sadly the blossoms already started to wither. I guess that project will go on the list for next summer!

How I got these shots:  Nikon D700, Nikkor 70-200mm VRII

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