The Yucca Plant – Colorado

I  like Yucca plants, and yet I’ve not photographed them much.  I’ve photographed a few here and there, but I typically miss the flowering stage. . . but not this year.

This specimen was photographed along Ute Pass, on my way home from work.
This specimen was photographed along Ute Pass, on my way home from work.

To my eyes there are enough variations between Yucca plants to make them appear as if there are many members of the same family.  According to THIS SOURCE (click to read about the plant), there are only two varieties around these parts, but they acknowledge wide variation of characteristics in specimen of each.  

Even the same plant can vary significantly through the flowering cycle.
Even the same plant can vary significantly through the flowering cycle.

Around this time of year they are most noticeable because of their flowers.  These particular plants were photographed, as I mentioned, all on Ute Pass.

Typical setting along Ute Pass
Typical setting along Ute Pass
After the flowers are gone, they blend in fairly well, and you hardly notice them.
After the flowers are gone, they blend in fairly well, and you hardly notice them.

The plants have an interesting reproductive cycle, as they are dependent on one species of moth for fertilization;  the Pronuba Moth.  The night-flying Pronuba drills a hole in the ovary of the flower, lays eggs, and in the process pollinates the Yucca.  The Yucca then becomes food for the larva.  The hole can be seen in every Yucca fruit.

I don't know if that's the hole they are referring to, but it does look like an actual hole as opposed to the shell coming apart.
I don’t know if that’s the hole they are referring to, but it does look like an actual hole as opposed to the shell coming apart.

That’s the other thing with these plants . . . I also like the empty fruit husks.  They are photogenic in a variety of conditions; in the winter they offer contrast and texture to snowscapes.  

Of course, right now there is little snow to contend with.
Of course, right now there is little snow to contend with.

Photos of the above dried specimen, and subsequent photos below, were all snapped along a dirt road near where I live.  Yes, I went on a drive this past weekend, and took some pictures which will show up, along with a narrative, in future posts.

I think the post and barbed wire offer a nice background to these plants.
I think the post and barbed wire offer a nice background to these plants.
These plants were earlier in their flowering cycle, and offered up some color that gradually fades as the flower develops.
These plants were earlier in their flowering cycle, and offered up some color that gradually fades as the flower develops.
I was also able to take my time with my 105mm F/2.8 macro, and offer up some contrast between the new . . .
I was also able to take my time with my 105mm F/2.8 macro, and offer up some contrast between the new . . .
. . . and the old.  I find beauty in each, and it's hard for me to say which I prefer.
. . . and the old. I find beauty in each, and it’s hard for me to say which I prefer.
Texture . . .
Texture . . .
. . . versus color.
. . . versus color.
And changing colors, at that.
And changing colors, at that.

I was lucky to find one flower which was not pointing down.  However, no moth . . . unless it had already fertilized the flower, and had long since moved on.

The angle and lighting was not favorable toward showing details, so I used a bit of fill-flash.  Perhaps a bit too much.
The angle and lighting was not favorable toward showing details, so I used a bit of fill-flash. Perhaps a bit too much.

I plan to go out again this weekend, and perhaps catch a later stage of the flower-fruit -death cycle.  Meanwhile, one last shot.

I do like the fence post as a backdrop . . .
I do like the fence post as a backdrop . . .

As usual, one can view all the above photos, and a few more, in a dedicated SmugMug Album.  There one can examine the photo at full resolution.  Why, I even turned on the option to display the camera settings.

Thanks for dropping by to look at, and read, my stuff.   

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