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In a good year, with a proper balance of rain and sun, the desert blooms with a mind-boggling array of color and size. The iconic prickly pear cactus is no exception. While driving up the "River Road" as we moabites call the road along the Colorado River from Moab to Castle Valley and eventually the ghost town of Cisco and I-70, I was keeping my searching eyes open for certain patches of cacti along the road that I knew to blossom especially well conditions were right - and they were!
Near Hal Canyon I spotted one of these patches, gathered my gear and began roaming. This is a slow process as your legs could get punctured by cactus spines at any time. There were plenty of blooms, but they all looked like images I'd seen before, until I saw this one. I love the way the curved cactus pads offset the single blossom that is itself balanced by the flowers yet blooming. So simple, yet so sublime. The lighting was not quite right so I shaded the whole thing with a reflector. Perfecto. In processing I sharpened the bloom, darkened the background a bit and added overall contrast. I am quite happy with this image. It says all I want to say about cacti.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor