A Photo Documentary In My Own Backyard

Author:  David Halgrimson

The start once discovered about 6 feet tall on April 17

Right in our backyard we have an agave, quite a large one at that. One day while checking on things I found the Agave was sprouting a single shoot from its center which resembles an asparagus spear. By the time I noticed it, it was about five feet tall. After doing some checking I found out agaves are monocarpic, meaning they die after flowering. Agave americana, the most common agave in the Southwest, has the common name “century plant” because it supposedly takes a century to bloom. I decided I would record its last act and started shooting on April 17th 2016 and every day after. That lasted awhile and then when it just kept growing I started shooting less and less. Now it is November and it is still with us. It stopped growing taller but is now growing more flowers.

It has been very interesting and has become a photo project for me. I now watch the weather and sky’s for interesting events and ways to shoot this wonderful plant. I can do this photo project all from home and it “just shows to go ya”, there can be interesting photos right where we are.

The images, except one, were all taken with a Sony Nex 5N mirrorless camera and either an 18-55 or 55-210mm lens. The final image was taken with a Canon 5D MKII and a 24-105mm lens. No tripod just hand held. The first image was taken on April 17, 2016 and the final image was taken on October 28th.

Thought it was done and on the way-out but, more flowering on October 28

Thought it was done and on the way-out but, more flowering on October 28

It has topped off at 14-15 feet and is still hanging in but starting to lean a bit so I guess I am not done either, I have plenty of sensor left to record it to the very end. I also understand it will be a hard piece of wood when done so I think I will find a place to keep it as a decoration.

David Halgrimson is a trip leader with Arizona Highways Photo Workshops.