Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for February 7th, 2012

The world turned upside down

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After the British army surrendered to the Americans (and indirectly to the French) at the Battle of Yorktown in 1781, the British musicians are said to have played a song with the telling name “The World Turned Upside Down.” That may be apocryphal, but when I wandered along a part of the Smith Memorial Trail on January 22 and came within sight of Bull Creek, I noticed that high up on the cliff on the far side of the creek a portion of a prickly pear cactus, Opuntia engelmannii, was indeed growing upside down. It’s often the case—as you may have seen in a photograph last September of a giant ragweed—that if a plant gets tipped over, newly growing portions of it will begin to turn and do their best to right themselves, but the central portion of this cactus seemed content to dangle off the cliff and keep growing downward.

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I’d originally planned this post for February 2, with some others about prickly pear cacti to follow, but the day before then, as you’ve been seeing, I found various wildflowers along Mopac and wanted to bring those to you right away. We’re not done with the (metaphorical and in one case literal) fruits of February 1 yet, but for variety I’m going to switch back and forth between the two sets of pictures this week—unless some new discovery messes up that plan too.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 7, 2012 at 5:49 AM

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