Queen of the Night

November 19, 2019  •  1 Comment

I was about to be a proud parent! Having received constant updates from my daughter while I was on vacation, I realized that the very first bloom on my night blooming cereus (also know as "The Queen of the Night") might not wait for me to make it's debut.

It had started to bud the week before I left on my trip, and I hoped that it would bloom in just a few days. But as usual, the Queen had her way with things and went into stall (where she mysteriously just stopped). My plans to photograph the bloom process seemed doomed. You see, I was in the middle of writing a book about the life-cycle of the Queen, which would include photographs of my own plant, in addition to others I had taken over the years, and I desperately needed a few key images to complete the text.

I gave explicit instructions to my daughter to measure the stalk and take a photo every day while I was gone. She dutifully reported the first few days (complete with out of focus cell phone pictures), but seemed to lose interest when there wasn't much activity. The day we were scheduled to come home, I received a picture from her that definitely looked like it was ready to open. The race was on!

We ran into the house that evening, and I went straight out the back door to check on the bloom to find it starting to open. I couldn't believe it, but it had waited for me!

I called my friend to come see and photograph it for herself. She helped me measure and document the gradual opening of the bloom. Two hours later, we had exhausted all angles and ourselves.

All this waiting and eventual flurry of activity resulted in the last of the images I needed for my book. It was finally completed. And now, I am very happy to announce that it is finally printed and published. Titled Queen of the Night: A Rare Beauty, it is an 8x8" soft-cover book with 36 pages of beautiful images paired with information about the life cycle of the elusive Peniocereus greggii, also know as "The Queen of the Night". It is for sale at Tohono Chul Park and other gifts shops to come, in addition to my website (https://www.creativeexposuresphoto.com/p517045540) and art shows that I participate in. I hope you enjoy this labor of love!

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Once a year, the Queen of the Night, an enchanting flower that blossoms for mere hours every year and is found only in the jungles of Central America, reveals itself to the world. It's a stunning opportunity to see one of nature's rarest and most beautiful creations.But good luck getting a peek at her majesty. Finding this flower is no easy task. Each specimen is tucked away deep inside tree trunks or other nooks and crannies from where they cannot be easily discovered. And even if you do locate one, it won't be blooming just yet. You'll have to wait until around 6pm for the best chance to see it in all its glory.The Queen of the Night only opens after dark and withers away within a few hours, so your best bet is to arrive early at her domain and wait it out by her side. Be sure to bring with you a powerful flash and camera with a macro lens — you'll need them to capture this fleeting beauty before she returns to her mysterious slumber.
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