Friday, July 31, 2009

BARREL CACTUS

Perhaps you have been wondering where I have been. I have been up to my ears in barrel cacti. They are the last to bloom during the year, so I have been taking photos and extracting them in Photoshop.
Usually when I create a mandala, I will have 7 or 8 elements that go into its design. I have 18 elements for barrel cactus designs. I may not use them all in one design, but it has taken some time to assemble them all.
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We have two barrel cacti in our yard. They come in quite a variety. This first one as viewed from the top is the centerpiece of my first mandala. Extracting this took awhile.

These are flowers of the first barrel cactus. They are small and relatively simple, but their vivid yellow is quite striking.
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We have two above as they usually bloom in clusters, but I want you to see the closeup of this individual one as well. Isn't nature amazing?

The other barrel cactus is this large one which I would guess is 40 years old. It is over 3' tall and more than 4' around.

It has these large, beautiful blooms. There are 5 flowers blooming at once in this photo. Sometimes, various barrel cactus will get a complete circle of flowers all the way around creating an awesome crown. Ours have yet to do that.



These two blooms give you an idea of the gift nature bestows with these flowers.




This individual bloom is my latest photo and I haven't even extacted it yet.






These flowers close up overnight and gradually open in the morning. They last for 3 or 4 days.
The mandalas I am creating, use the flowers of 7 types of barrel cacti, but there are more here in the Sonoran Desert.




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