Macro Monday – Withered Beauty

Macro Monday – Withered Beauty

Better pass boldly into that other world, in the full glory of some passion, than fade and wither dismally with age.
___James Joyce

My favorite cattleya orchid usually blooms twice a year for us, as it has for over twenty years. While in bloom, it resides in its place of honor in our living room for us to enjoy. I would like to think it enjoys its visits, though I rather doubt it, as we torture it with the lack of light, water and humidity. As the blooms wither, I return the orchid to its own hanger under the arbor to enjoy some fresh air, sunshine and a twice daily misting. The blooms are then unceremoniously plucked off, but this time, for the first time, I realized that, though withered, the blooms were still beautiful. Maybe more beautiful?

Ron Mayhew

Fine Art Photographer specializing in Still Life and Commercial Photography.

This Post Has 23 Comments

  1. Ah, you are right. Maybe more beautiful. I think so too. As we watch and wait, we see something we never noticed. How the drying blossom takes on a kind of subtle concentration of color. This orchid is beautiful. You have presented the end of her life well. My last post considered the end of life of a box of tulips in the same way. I love the light here.

    1. Thanks so much for you kind words. The art of quietly waiting and watching is lost on most of us – especially me. 🙂

  2. Agree, there is something striking and satisfying which makes the idea of fading & withering away dismally with age very attractive (no offense, Mr. Joyce!). Beautifully captured shot, great texture. Did you backlight the orchid?

    1. Withering and fading is part of living, isn’t it. And it is inevitable though deniable for most.

  3. I like this a lot. Now for a show of withers…plants, people’s faces….

    1. It possibilities are endless. Thanks Lynn.

  4. what a stunning image! how nice that you could squeeze a bit more pleasure out of your beloved orchid! this post could prompt many parables! we might be past our bloom, but there’s still beauty if one will look for it! z

    1. Thanks Lisa. I do enjoy my orchids. Many parables indeed, because “it ain’t over till the fat lady sings.”

  5. It is still beautiful, and your photo may have made it more beautiful than it really is. 🙂

    1. Thanks Cathy. You are kind, but it is hard to improve on nature. 🙂

  6. Always nice discovering something new from you something you almost take for granted. Very nice!

    1. What a lovely comment Lowell. Thank you.

    1. Thank you Sylvia, your are so very kind, as usual.

    1. Thanks Carol. The quote kind of struck a cord with me too.

  7. I’m Dutch, and when I lived in Holland, I used to buy flowers regularly. I enjoyed their freshness, but then I would leave them to die however they wanted, starting with petals falling off and lying around the vase, all the way to being really most sincerely dead and crispy. My friends thought I was crazy, but I felt that the flowers were beautiful in every stage. I’m glad to see that I’m not the only one!

    1. Ah, its nice to know I am not alone. In an earlier post I photographed a bouquet of dead roses, in an attempt to emulate the Dutch Masters, though I make no claim to having been successful. Thanks for your comment and for stopping by.

  8. The detail in this image is beautiful and striking… how did you manage this?

    1. It is mostly about the lighting: back lighting to the right side some the translucency of the bloom would show plus some light was reflected back to the bloom. I’ll explain in detail in another post in a few days. Thanks for your comment.

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