Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

When is a rain-lily black?

with 22 comments

Rain-Lily with Shadow on Prickly-Pear Pad 8557

When is a rain-lily black? When it’s a shadow.

I took this picture of Cooperia drummondii casting its shadow on the pad of a prickly pear cactus along Ridge Oak Dr. at Perry Ln. on September 25th.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 25, 2013 at 6:02 AM

22 Responses

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  1. Liliaceae opuntialis- the Black Opuntia Rain-lily. 🙂

    Steve Gingold

    October 25, 2013 at 6:38 AM

  2. I love riddles, especially one with such a delightful answer. Seen sideways, the shadow is a dog, of course, with an areole for an eye. It looks like he might be ready to take a bite.


    October 25, 2013 at 7:28 AM

    • How funny, Linda, I see a chicken from the side view!


      October 25, 2013 at 7:33 AM

    • Steve Gingold set the pattern with his coinage this morning, and now you’ve jumped the plant-animal divide and are seeing cynomorphically (along the lines of anthropomorphic, but with a canine bite).

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 25, 2013 at 7:39 AM

  3. I like this shot with the green-yellow palette of colors. Was it natural, or did you ‘compose’ the shot? Do you always use only natural settings? (I’m not being judgmental about this)

    Is this a different theme? Something seems changed. Boy…nosey me, eh?

    Jim in IA

    October 25, 2013 at 7:30 AM

    • This was at one edge of the large and dense rain-lily colony shown here three days ago. The rain-lilies thinned out at the fringes of the colony, and I noticed a few close to the cactus, including this one. One reason I spend so much time sitting and even lying on the ground is to find angles that let me line up my subjects with appealing things in the background. I don’t always succeed, but the method works often enough for me to keep trying.

      As for the theme—by which I take it you mean the WordPress template—it’s the same one I’ve used on this blog since its beginning. Maybe the small amount of text I wrote for this post made the difference in your perception. Oh well, as the French say: vive la différence!

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 25, 2013 at 7:50 AM

  4. Coming in fine again this morning. Fun!


    October 25, 2013 at 7:35 AM

  5. Such a clever post on several levels. Love the riddle! Thank you for the smile…just had to come back to this post this morning.


    October 25, 2013 at 9:05 AM

    • Hi, Georgette. I hope your smile was una sonrisota, as I used to hear people say in Honduras. May your days be riddled with smiles.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 25, 2013 at 9:29 AM

  6. The rain-lily seems to be talking to its shadow here, as if to say, who the heck are you?

    Susan Scheid

    October 25, 2013 at 1:20 PM

  7. I love this picture. A beautiful piece of art as well as the documentation of the flower. I’ve been taking walks in a new environment for the last two weeks, and often thought of you, Steve… And what a pleasure it is to know all the names and a little about the nature of the beautiful wild flowers we see.


    October 28, 2013 at 5:11 AM

    • Thanks for your thoughts and this comment, Shimon. I’m pleased that you like this image. Being able to identify dozens of our native plants has given me a different sense of place than the one I had before, and I’ve learned to follow the seasons via the flowers that appear, thrive for a time, and then disappear.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 28, 2013 at 6:57 AM

  8. When brilliant sun makes a brilliant shadow into a brilliant photo.


    October 31, 2013 at 5:48 PM

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