A collection of distilled sarcastic wisdom, numerous photographs, discussions of books and stuff to learn and more stuff to think about from a retired economics professor turned blogger and photographer.
My wife collected me at Albertson's after finishing the weekly grocery stint and told me on the way home that the first white Saguaro cactus blooms had appeared on one of our neighbor's cactus. The importance of this discovery is highlighted by the realization that these pristine, white, beautiful blossoms only last a few hours. And my wife wanted to make sure I got some photos of the first blossoms while they were in their few hours of glory. Last winter many of the saguaros were winter killed and most of the large ones were reduced to a fraction of their former size. So here are the first saguaro blooms of 2015. I have literally taken several thousand pictures of white saguaro cactus blossoms, yellow cactus blossoms, and purple cactus blossoms. I have no idea what will ever happen to them. But the beauty of these blossoms is so addictive and so compellingly beautiful that I will probably take a few hundred more pictures of them this year before we return to Salt Lake for the summer. The bottom photo has been processed in a Topaz color filter.
Unfortunately, the harsh winter a year ago killed off a big part of my neighbor's Saguaro cactus plant. These photos are from the 2013 archives. A few buds are showing, though, on the plant that is left and I am anxiously waiting the blossoms. The blossoms last only a few hours and then die and turn into limp, red dishrags. Every year my time spent with this cactus leads me to wonder "Why are so many beautiful things so fragile and so transient?" At least we can treasure and remember their beauty with photography. I have probably over 2,000 pictures of various cactus blossoms.
Every day I troll some of my thousands of photos on my hard drive looking for gems that were never processed. Most of these photos were too dark or too crooked or had one or many flaws that prevented me from using it years ago. Here are some yucca seed pods in a five-year old photo that show what I try to do: Make something beautiful out of something very, very ordinary.
This photo is of my neighbor's Saguaro cactus. A year ago December, St. George had one of the most bitter and prolonged periods of icy and snowy weather on record. Many of the palm trees were killed, and we lost a number of shrubs including our pungent huge rosemary bush. This cactus was considerably larger before the cold snap. I will be watching anxiously for the beautiful pristine white blossoms that come once a year, last for a few hours, and then turn into limp and dying dishrags. Here is a photo of what the blossoms will look like in a few weeks: