I ordinarily don’t like prickly pear cactus. They grow everywhere around here and I don’t find them to be very pretty. But, for a short time in the spring they bloom with beautiful flowers. In Austin, near where I work, there are plenty of these prickly pear and I think that the blooms look nice in the late afternoon sun. I have been slowly driving by some of these areas waiting for the blooms to start. This week, they started, so I brought my camera to work and went wandering around after work looking for some photo opportunities.
The prickly pear seem to bloom either yellow or bright orange color. Large buds appear on the edges of the pads and start blooming. Below are a few of the yellow flowers just about to open. I took this shot at 200mm focal length and f/2.8 so that I could fully blur out the background and make the flowers stand out.
The cactus flowers are also a feast for the bees. Just about every flower had a bee in it getting covered with pollen.
There were still a few other wildflowers about, including this puffy purple flower that I can’t name.
Walking around I heard a lot of noise in the brush and turned around and found a fawn hiding in the cactus. I was able to snap off a few quick shots before it ran off. These deer are all over the place around here.
So this was my city cactus bloom photo shoot. I knew that the time for the cactus to bloom would be coming around soon and I couldn’t really make time for an afternoon drive out in the country, so I decided to see if I could get what I wanted with an urban photo shoot. I was generally able to frame the shots so that you wouldn’t know that there are large office buildings close by. I just paid close attention to my backgrounds and used a lot of bokeh.
Believe it or not, these photos were all taken in one of the busier parts of Austin. I included more of the pictures in a mosaic below.
Thanks for reading and leave a comment.
4 thoughts on “The Cactus Are In Bloom”
There’s a home in my neighbourhood with these cacti in their front yard. I was surprised last year to see them with beautiful yellow flowers, though I think the orange are more striking.
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It is nice to find beauty in something that you ordinarily don’t like.
You are right: cactus are not pretty plants, but since they’re blooming, their flowers seems the to be unique.
[…] I was out shooting cactus blooms and getting covered with chigger bites from ankles to waist, I grabbed a 20mm extension tube and […]