April 21

Springtime in Cactus Land


Across the street from my apartment building is a small cactus garden, set at the triangular intersection of two non-perpendicular streets. On a recent walk across the street, I noticed that many of the poky little plants were blooming, responding to spring that has arrived in the city. The most spectacular flower had already disappeared by the time that I walked by with my camera, but the other flowers were stunning and a quiet joyful springtime celebration between the busy streets framing this small garden. Some of the yellow flowers were almost translucent in their delicate appearance, giving them a color that was both surprising and inviting in the strong afternoon sun.

I don’t really consider the cactus as a springtime flower, but these plants from deserts around the world proved me wrong. In fact, I have always admired my friend Deb’s persistent nurturing of cacti as a gift, a sense of patience with sometimes finicky plants, that totally eludes me. Since much of Spain is desert-dry, a cactus garden makes perfect sense, even as close to the ocean as my new home here.

Gentle reader, one other thing. As I use my camera more, I am constantly adjusting settings to get a picture that more effectively emphasizes the subject and the ambient lighting. While these pictures were taken on an overcast afternoon, I worked to make the natural colors stand out. I hope you enjoy the pictures!

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To give you a sense of proximity, my building is the one behind the three-windowed white car on the far left.DSCN4395 copy


cactus, desert, garden, spring, springtime

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  1. Your photography is stunning! I can tell you are really working at it. Are you adjusting WB to get your colors so vibrant?

    1. Wow! Thanks so much for the feedback, and I am glad you enjoyed the pictures. I am tinkering with the white balance, but also using my camera’s ability to capture closeups that (usually) come out really clearly. However, the colors themselves are not changed in any way… they really ARE that beautiful.

  2. Wow! Christopher, the photos are amazing!! Who would imagine a cacti garden in the middle of town?? Awesome! Thanks for sharing and keep the photos coming.

    Miss you!


    1. Glad you like the pictures. That’s the way it is here, though, and there are dozens of other gardens and parks with similar themes scattered across the city of Valencia. Whether it’s an architectural or historical artifact, there is so much to see! Life here is lived largely outdoors, and gardens like this one remind me that I am truly in another culture! Tell my friends there hello for me!

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