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Photograph of the Week

Claret cups

by Rebecca Speakes | April 26, 2021
Photograph by Rebecca Speakes copyright © 2021

Growing wild in Sierra County’s creosote scrubland or carefully nurtured in a local garden, echinocereus triglochidiatus, a species of hedgehog cacti, is a showstopper during its blooming season of April to June. The unforgettable orange-red color of its blossoms gave rise to its common name: claret cup cactus.

This skillfully composed closeup uses a rock landscaping border as a frame that draws the admiring eye inward. The circular positioning of the flowers invites the viewer to delight in both their individual glory, as well as their profusion, And the slight angle from which the overhead shot was taken shows off the plant’s other identifying attributes: its barrel-shaped body, dense, almost wooly armature of spines and clumping habit.

As this image beautifully illustrates, that’s a lot of visual punch packed into a small plant that seldom grows more than six inches tall.

—Commentary by Tom Hinson, editor, Photograph of the Week

Editor’s Note: Click on the photograph to view it in a light box for even greater clarity.

Professional, amateur and phone-camera photographers alike are invited to submit images to the Sierra County Sun for possible publication in the Sun’s “Photograph of the Week” feature. The deadline for consideration is every Friday at 5 p.m. For further information, click on the Help Us Report button on our home page and then check the box labeled “I want to submit a photo to Photograph of the Week.”

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