The Sunflower

For all of the magnificence of a place like the Great Sand Dunes, it’s easy to miss the details that pull the whole scene together. It’s one of the joys of macro photography to highlight those details in a way that changes your whole perspective of a place. Suddenly you see a small world in a whole new light and the infinite details within it.

During our latest visit to the Dunes back in June, these beauties lit up the landscape with eye-popping yellow. This particular one however, stood alone at our campsite, no sunflower companions to steal its thunder. Not a blemish marked it’s spectacular petals.

I’d passed by it for our whole week at the park, always meaning to take the time to pay it homage in photographs. It wasn’t until the day before our exit that I finally got to it. But oh what bad timing! The wind wouldn’t cooperate and I’d just broken my big toe two days earlier . Crouching down to get the best angle was excruciating. I tried for a bit but I was shaking and fatigued from the pain so I stepped away without fulfilling my photographic vision.

I couldn’t let it go though. That night I decided that I’d try again the next morning even if it meant a late start on our journey back home. The next morning I hobbled out on my throbbing foot to catch that glorious soft light of sunrise on my sunflower… only all of its petals had been devoured save one tiny yellow sliver that hinted at its former glory.

So I leave you with this…

For art may err, but Nature cannot miss. -John Dryden

A slightly different version of this image now immortalizes my beautiful friend on my forearm – a symbol of many things for me to remember as I go through my days.

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