Some more photos from my yard.
Yesterday, one of the buds on the saguaro cactus in my front yard bloomed. Today, there were many more blooms. I took this photo from the covered walkway near my front door using a 200mm lens. The blue color of the sky is not enhanced in Photoshop; it’s a direct result of the polarizing filter on the lens.
Saguaro flowers bloom at night and are pollinated by bats. Bees and birds do a bit of pollination during daylight hours. After a day or two in the sun, the flowers wilt. Fruits begin forming shortly thereafter. The fruits are small and hard and, as they ripen, they split open to reveal red pulp. Seeds are tiny — think smaller than poppy seeds on a bagel — and are eaten and passed through by the birds who feast on the fruit.
Keep in mind that this cactus is 15-20 feet tall. The flowers are on top. This is one of the reasons it’s so difficult to get good photos of saguaro flowers — it’s not like you can stand right next to them.
I just ordered a 70-300mm Nikon lens with image stabilization. I think it’ll help me get better shots of things like this. I’m also looking forward to using it on my flight to Washington state this coming weekend.