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Posted by
Stephen Phillips (San Francisco, United States) on 14 November 2009 in Landscape & Rural and Portfolio.

The fertile fields near Watsonville, California along the rolling hills overlooking the eastern edge of Monterey Bay. In the spring and summer, strawberries and artichokes carpet these hills. This time of year brings the harvest of brussel sprouts - as we see before us here.

What had me stopping was this odd centerpiece. The stump of a felled eucalyptus tree - hosting a prickly-pear cactus. Was the cactus planted in the stump? Did the wind or a bird deliver a seed to this unlikely planter? Another celebration of life's longing for itself.

To see a larger version in black & white - along with a link to the map location of this image:

© copyright 2018 by Stephen Phillips Photography / Oakland, California /
please respect these rights - do not copy or use these images without permission.

Betty from Phillipsburg, United States

I would like to think that a bird left the seed to give us this gorgeous centerpiece.

14 Nov 2009 10:53am

yz from budapest, Hungary

interesting thing you've found, cool framed

14 Nov 2009 11:23am

Liang from San Francisco, United States

that is an awesome find! i can not imagine small cactuses on a broken tree trunk!

14 Nov 2009 5:48pm

shroom from DFW, United States

Love it. But man, isn't it eerie how hard it is to get cactus pads in focus? It's like they exist in more dimensions than our eyes can handle.

14 Nov 2009 7:17pm

@shroom: Thank you, shroom. I hadn't considered this soft focus cactus phenomenon. Curious. I don't know if you clicked on the link to the B&W version of this image -

After creating the color version I duplicated the image before creating this B&W version. It has no additional sharpening. So, this seems to become more curious still ?

Chris from South Jersey, United States

how unusual - great capture....

14 Nov 2009 11:06pm

Kalyan from India

wonderfully captured shot...nice view!

15 Nov 2009 3:16am

Shoebox from Orlando, Florida, United States

The joy of discovering the unusual.

15 Nov 2009 4:52am

Magda from Vancouver, Canada

Love the title!! :) Great image with some superb detail

15 Nov 2009 4:52am

Fusao from Tokyo, Japan

cool combination.

15 Nov 2009 1:20pm

dj.tigersprout from New York City, United States

how beautifully bizarre!! ;)

19 Nov 2009 5:32pm