Like a beast with his horn
In spite of the way things look in this picture from March of 2011, the drought hadn’t reached anything close to its later severity. The plant depicted (in small part) is an agave, Agave americana, and most of its leaves were still green; it’s normal for an agave’s older, lower leaves to gradually die and dry up, and that’s what you see here. I found the rippling texture of this dry leaf more interesting than the features of its still-living fellows, so I took close photographs of several parts of it. When I saw the results later I couldn’t help thinking of a phrase from one of Leonard Cohen’s best-known songs: “like a beast with his horn.” And crossing that line from the plant to the animal kingdom, I seem to see an eye on the left side of this would-be reptilian scene: another case of a vivid imagination.
© 2012 Steven Schwartzman