#49 – Cactus Floral Explosion

04.17.10 – 1:09pm – f/2.2 – 1/4000 -01.33 Canon T1i – Canon EF85mm – Length: 85mm
Editing: Slight exposure/vibrance adjustments of the jpeg in Camera Raw

I was in St. George, Utah, at an annual reunion of best high school friends and we were out for a walk when we saw this gorgeous cactus.  The flowers only last about 12 hours (from sunrise to sunset) and most of the cacti only have one or two at a time. This one had two, but we could tell it was going to explode with many more the next day, so I just had to go back the next day with my camera, and sure enough, we captured this rare moment, with nine blossoms at one time!

We used to have a similar cactus when we lived in Blackfoot, Idaho, and after being out in the sun all summer, we could get it to bloom in September. I loved to watch each small little bud start growing and develop into a large horizontal stem about five inches long and one inch in diameter. Then one day it would decide to open up into a giant, beautiful 7-inch butter-color blossom. But it was always wilted by nightfall. It brought back great memories of our amazing blooming cactus. The most we ever had at one time was about five, but that was rare, and it was a much larger plant. So that experience made me really appreciate this cactus floral explosion in St. George.

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