Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

A live yucca

with 41 comments

Yucca Gone to Seed with Wispy Clouds 9872

After yesterday’s downward-looking view at the earthbound remains of a yucca that seemed to me to be a headless porcupine, I thought I should show you an upward-looking view of a tall yucca from November 22 in the western portion of Big Bend National Park. It may be a Faxon yucca, Yucca faxoniana, which one of my books says can grow to 9m (29 ft.).

If you haven’t gotten enough of the imagining game, you’re invited to check out the pair of wispily masked baby-blue eyes in the sky peering down over a likewise wispy nose.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 15, 2015 at 4:52 AM

41 Responses

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  1. Very Dr Seuss-ian. I think the scene out performs the strange flower I saw on my recent visit to Cairns. http://gardeningsolutions.ifas.ufl.edu/giam/plants_and_grasses/flowering_plants/bat_flower.html


    December 15, 2015 at 5:26 AM

  2. Haha. Clever! Was Big Bend an amazing place?


    December 15, 2015 at 5:46 AM

    • Big Bend mostly lacks the kind of grandeur found in national parks like Yellowstone and Yosemite, but it certainly has its charms—especially for someone who doesn’t often get to experience the desert.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 15, 2015 at 8:29 AM

  3. Someone’s Guardian angel no doubt…


    December 15, 2015 at 7:43 AM

  4. Now that’s a really tall one!


    December 15, 2015 at 9:03 AM

  5. Great selections yesterday and today! I love seeing the texture in what might seem ‘dull’ to people who haven’t lived in these regions.

    Sammy D.

    December 15, 2015 at 10:33 AM

  6. This is fun, Steve. I think the wispy eyes are perfect, looking down on the Dr. Seussian plant.

    Melissa Pierson

    December 15, 2015 at 12:44 PM

    • I grew up before the reign of Dr. Seuss and never had any children that I might have been led to read those books to, so I confess my ignorance of them beyond an awareness that they exist—unlike you and Gallivanta who tuned right in. Wispiness, though, I fully relate to.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 15, 2015 at 12:59 PM

  7. The flowers on a Yucca are so amazing; I do agree with Melissa this is very much a Dr. Seuss plant.

    Charlie@Seattle Trekker

    December 15, 2015 at 12:58 PM

    • A third Seussian: please see the reply to the previous comment that I was writing when you were posting your comment.

      Yucca flowers are intriguing, no doubt about it.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 15, 2015 at 1:02 PM

  8. Parece que se enredan las hojas de la Yuca con las nubes deshilachadas. Una imagen muy hermosa, Steve.
    Un abrazo.

    Isabel F. Bernaldo de Quirós

    December 15, 2015 at 4:17 PM

  9. I see the wispy blue eyes and nose, Steve. This plant looks quite similar to our grass trees but the flower stalks are completely different. Hundreds of tiny grass tree flowers are attached to long vertical spears. I agree with others that it looks Dr Seuss-ian. I’ve been out of action again with the same mystery illness. I may not be online much over the next few weeks, so please forgive my lack of comments.


    December 16, 2015 at 5:38 PM

    • I’m sorry to hear your mystery illness has persisted, Jane. Rest up, and let’s hope for a full recovery by Christmas or the turn of the year at the latest.

      I remember seeing pictures of your grass trees and thinking that they’re like yuccas. The (partial) resemblance isn’t surprising, given that both are in the botanical order Asparagales (and so is asparagus).

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 16, 2015 at 7:17 PM

  10. I have a fondness for yuccas and for blue skies, so this one is a double delight. What caught my attention is the way the clouds echo the shape of the seed pods. It’s a compelling combination.


    December 17, 2015 at 8:14 AM

    • Given your fondness for yuccas and blue skies, you’d do well to head to the Trans-Pecos when the opportunity arises. There you’ll also find species of two tall relatives, agaves and sotols (though they’re not close relatives), as well as many other compelling things. It’s a kind of compulsion you won’t mind being under.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 17, 2015 at 8:47 AM

  11. I saw the wispy clouds and yucca as connected into a face altogether.

    Steve Gingold

    December 21, 2015 at 5:48 PM

  12. Nice composition with those beautiful clouds behind……


    December 22, 2015 at 4:04 PM

  13. That yucca is dancing with the clouds, isn’t it?

    Susan Scheid

    December 25, 2015 at 4:31 PM

  14. […] in central Texas are a lot smaller than Joshua trees, but west Texas has some closer in stature to California’s […]

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