Not only is the Milky Way apparent in the sky, but so are the Sacred Datura Flowers that bloom through the night. Shot on different nights in Zion Canyon at Zion National Park, Utah
The Coneflower can take on many shapes and looks. It’s the ultimate shape shifter!
I never heard of fiddlenecks until I tried to find out what kind of flower I was photographing because there were about a billion of them. In the foothills of the Tehachapi Mountains along Highway 58 are acres and acres of them blossoming.
As you all know, California is in a midst of an acute drought. This affects all Californians and its prized almond industry. Also coming into play is the honey bee which have been dwindling in numbers not only in California, but the whole country. Almond growers need the honey bees to pollinate their flowers.
According to Mother Jones magazine, it takes about a gallon of water to grow a single almond. Almonds also use 10% of California’s agricultural water supply. But farmers in California’s Central Valley, the world’s most productive agricultural region, are now paying as much as 10 times more for water than they did before the state’s record drought cut supply. Costs have soared to $1,100 per acre-foot from about $140 a year ago in the Fresno-based Westlands Water District, which represents 700 farms, said Gayle Holman, a spokeswoman.
Although bee colony populations are now starting to rise again, the devastating collapse in honey bee numbers starting 10 years ago have forced high prices in hive rentals. Beekeepers are charging almond pollination fees of as much as $200 to rent a single beehive this season. That’s as much as five times the rate charged in 2004.
So the higher water and bee hive costs are bringing into question the importance of almonds. Do we need them? The almond is America’s favorite nut!
The price of almonds rose from around $2.50 three years ago to over $4 per pound in 2014 according to Vernon Crowder of Fresno’s Rabobank. Farmers started planting new almond trees at an historic rate. Now that the price has dropped 20% since 2014 because of oversupply, the profit margins have dropped due to higher costs of water and bee hives. If the farmers’ profits have been reduced, should they be using much-needed water on almonds?
With that said, the almond growing season is off to a fantastic start as can be seen with the photos below. Almond growing must still be profitable. Hopefully the drought will cease and honey bees continue to make a comeback. Almonds are rich in energy and healthy mono-unsaturated fats. The nuts have good nutrient profile packed with anti-oxidants, dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals. I personally eat a lot of almonds.
Have you really looked at a sunflower closeup? Looks like stars or starfish around a scoop of beluga caviar. I used an extension tube, not my 105mm macro lens. The extension tubes are cheap and allow you to get in really close. They attach between your normal lens and the camera body. Kenko extension tubes come in a set of three and are available at B & H Photo where I buy most of my photo gear. Excellent customer service. Click on image for larger view. This image can be purchased as a print or downloadable file at Dawn2dawn Photography
This desert flower blooms at night and has an evil reputation because of its psychedelic powers. DO NO CONSUME THIS.
“The bristly fruit and stale-smelling leaves of the Sacred Datura speak to a more sinister side of the plant, to a dark and fearsome netherworld of poison and potential emotional collapse, physical sickness and even death. It suggests visions of the brooding and frightening forests of the Brothers Grimm. These parts of the plant have given rise to alternative names such as Devil’s Trumpet, Deadly Nightshade, Thorn Apple, Mad Apple, Hairy Jimson-weed, Stink Weed, Green Dragon and Locoweed.”
I wonder who was the first to find this out. You can purchase this image as a print or downloadable file at Dawn2dawnphotography.com/sacred datura