A water lily leaf in its imperfection . . . its asymmetry . . . its blemishes . . . the leaf detritus and pebbles collected at its core.

Water Lily

Water Lily Closeup - ©ingridtaylar

In the family Nymphaeaceae, this — one of many species of water lilies — lives in the UC Berkeley Botanical Garden. Its underwater stems provide cover for resident garter snakes, seasonal newt parties, and tadpoles doing their best to grow to adulthood in the shadow of a lily canopy.

Aquatic Garter Snake

Barely There Garter Snake - ©ingridtaylar

Tadpole and Lily Leaf

Tadpole & Lily Leaf - ©ingridtaylar

Water Lily Trio

Water Lily Trio - ©ingridtaylar