Tuesday, July 20, 2010

a flower's dream

I wish I had a buck for every photograph ever taken of a night-blooming cereus. Who could resist trying to show the slow-motion yet visible unfolding of that exquisite flower at least once? Millions of pictures are taken of the process, as if to prove the unbelievable. A camera cannot, however, record that fragrance. It remains imaginable only to initiates. I won't go on. Assuming there have been an infinite number of images made, I'm sure there have been even more inadequate attempts to describe it in words.

This is more about demonstrating one of the few things I can do with my new iPhone. No one told me it would require an advanced degree to run the damn thing, but its camera seems to be very user-friendly. So I let it have a go at the cereus:

Hmmm... not bad for incandescent lighting.
Then I found the flash.

The vain gardenia tried to compete.

At that moment, an amazing thing happened.
I don't know if it was the iPhone or the cereus,
or maybe it's just my imagination,
but, to me, this looks like a picture of a flower dreaming.

What do you think?


Janelle Goodwin said...

Oh, I think these pics should be blown up, printed and put on your wall. Certainly you captured the magic of flowers dreaming. Ahhhhh.

Melinda said...

Absolutely! Dreaming and awakened by the night scent of cereus...

You must have one of these glorious plants, yes?

Here, there are legions of flashlight and camera festooned tourists who wander with mouths agape at Tohono Chul gardens. The garden sends out newsflashes, almost hourly, about the first sitings.

You've got one of the best photos I've ever seen. Fantastic!

SamArtDog said...

Janelle and Melinda,
It's a double miracle--
#1-I cut this old cereus plant back hard to the dirt last January, proving again that severe pruning is sometimes a necessary thing.
#2-I actually took the pictures with the iPhone.

It's nice to know you like the pictures. Thanks for saying so.

cohen labelle said...

I think you may be right. The cereus has perfected its power of night vision - it may also hallucinate.
I also think you have a superb eye and a magic green thumb!
And of course gardenias are vain, after all Billie Holiday wore them in her hair.

loriann said...

I Love the first one! That photo has feeling...all those lost edges!

cohen labelle said...

I notice in the last photo that there is a subtle echo of the cereus in the background - gives an air of mystery – I like that!

SamArtDog said...

Spoken like a true artist, always searching for the lost line.

The echo is the flower's dream.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes the thrill of not knowing what image is retained is better than what you thought you were getting.
These are lovely and ethereal.
We too have night blooming cereus that look quite different from the one you're showing and are huge. After a good rain, they spring open and show the frilliest, most complex innards imaginable.
They grow best by being ignored, at least here.

Conversely, I can't make a Gardenia wink back at me ever.

Love the night bloomers.
I think that's what my grandmother called the underwear she slept in.

It's interesting to me that the iPhone takes such fine shots.

cohen labelle said...

I knew that, SamArtDog, or at least I suspected it.

Jala Pfaff said...

With the first pic, I thought: whoa! HER cereus blooms dark-red, I'm jealous!

SamArtDog said...

That cereus was just beginning its dance. It ultimately gets huge.
Night bloomers--har har!