In living black and white

I noticed this intricate succulent growing in a neighbor’s front yard and thought it might make an interesting subject. (If anyone can help me identify this plant, I’d much appreciate it!)  It was growing at the top of a retaining wall, long arms extruding themselves parallel to the ground ready to stretch out and tap the unsuspecting passerby.

I took several shots and started working on them, growing increasingly frustrated because I couldn’t seem to get just the right shade of green.  It didn’t help that the new growth was distinctly yellowish, while the older leaves were almost a blue-grey.  The more I tried to get the tones right, the more artificial it looked.  (And of course, that’s just on my monitor; no telling what the color would look like in print or on someone else’s screen.)

And then I realized that this picture isn’t about the color, it’s about the structure.   Strip out all the extraneous information, and the simple intricacy of the spiral suddenly shines through.

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~ by Shelly F. Cohen on 2 August 2009.

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