I captured this photo of two Lechuguilla plants at sunset during my first evening of my summer visit to the Big Bend National Park. I was scrambling to move from one location to another and spotted these two Lechuguilla plants who’s stalks are now producing seeds. The flowers were long gone but I thought they still made for an interesting foreground. Unforuntately, the clouds that were present earlier in the day were mostly gone by sunset. This is what remained.
The Lechuguilla, like its relative, the maguey or century plant, requires 12-15 years to store up enough food for the production of the large flower stalk, which then grows amazingly fast up to 15 feet tall. The upper part of the stalk is covered with a solid mass of purplish or yellowish flowers. After producing flowers and seeds, the stalk dies. These two plants are in the latter stage.
This image was taken with my Canon EOS 5DS using my Canon EF 16-35mm f/4 Lens set on 29mm. The camera was set on Manual mode with the aperture set at f/19, shutter speed at 1/20th of a second and the ISO set at 400. I used a tripod for stability. This is a single image processed in Lightroom and completed in Photoshop using Nik Color Efex Pro.
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