Dying beauty

When I got up this morning, all four of them were nearly dead. I was thrilled.

Death has never been a taboo subject for me. In photography, I love shooting dead and dying things – old buildings, insects, cemeteries, birds, racoons.

Last week I got this beautiful amaryllis as a gift. It was in full bloom. I took a few quick shots of the four big blossoms and planned a full shoot for this week.

Unfortunately, I overwatered it just before I left for a five-day trip. When I got home, the blossoms had wilted – and by this morning, they were gasping their last.

In this state, though, all the fine points of the amaryllis stigma and anthers were gracefully obvious, contrasting with the faded petals.

_IGP9618 amaryllis

And even though the bright, uniform red was gone, those petals now have a depth and subtlety in their wrinkled faces that was invisible before.

_IGP9228 amaryllis

It’s a good subject for a macro lens and a hypermacro too.

_IGP9224-2 amaryllis

A lesson in seeing beauty through intimate, breath-holding focus.

_IGP9248 amaryllis

If you want to learn more about caring for an amaryllis – here’s the USDA web page I should have read before I overwatered mine.

Today’s penny is a 1987, the year that the genus name Amaryllis was designated by botanists to apply to South African bulbs only. Hippeastrum is the correct genus for the flowering house plant that we know in the Americas. But, because of the longstanding confusion among botanists about the name, the generic “amaryllis” is still used.

2 thoughts on “Dying beauty”

Comments are closed.