Desert Agave Photo

Ron Niebrugge Anza-Borrego, California, Photos, Travel 17 Comments

Desert Agave also known as Century Plant, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, California.

Desert Agave also known as Century Plant, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, California.

I found and photographed a couple of these beautiful blooming plants this morning – this is a real treat as it takes some 20 to 40 years, if not more, before this plant blooms and then dies.  A new plant then begins to grow from the periphery and the process begins all over.  So as you can imagine, there are very few of these plants in bloom in any given spring – so it is a real treat to find one!  I have located a couple – this one is in Yaqui Pass, the other in San Felipe Canyon.

It was pretty stormy this morning – I like to think of this weather as a high variance photo opportunity, this is especially true in the desert.  What I mean by that is stormy weather greatly increases the chance for amazing light and unique atmospheric conditions, the kind of conditions that can lead to wonderful photo opportunities.  But, bad weather also greatly increases the chance of coming away with nothing!

I was reminded of that today.  At my first stop, the agave in San Felipe Canyon, I was greeted by hard wind and rain and came away with nothing.  On my second stop, I found calm wind and the beautiful defused light you see here.   At one point I even had a brief rainbow!

Comments 17

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  2. Great shot! I knew there was a reason these plants are rare, or “protected.” When I was about 4 years old, my family was returning to Borrego from El Centro, we stopped just past the junction of 78 and Borrego Valley Road, just over a rise… My mom had us kids and my dad “poach” an agave as you have pictured.. it went home with me in the back row of the station wagon. I think they re-planted it in the corner of our yard. We moved about a year later… Ok, where do I pay for the trip down memory lane? That’s part of what phtos are about, right? Ron, thanks, for the photo!

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    Thanks Salma!

    Hi Mark – wow, that had to have been a lot of work! And some sight going down the road in the station wagon. Poaching agave – that probably explains why you left your last name off this post. 🙂 Glad you enjoyed the trip down memory lane.


  4. Hey Ron,

    What a cool plant! Glad you made it back for a more successful photo shoot. The photo is great – so sparse, and gives a sense of the rarity of the find. Nice job.



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  6. I love this shot Ron, what a great view. I found a couple of 20-25′ tall agave stalks in bloom in a strip mall parking lot in Tuscon–I couldn’t believe my eyes. The stuff they have to landscape with in the Southwest is incredible.

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  8. Beautiful photo! I imagine Harper Flat would be a good place to see some agave blooms. Walking through that area you are constantly stepping over fallen agave stalks. Maybe I’ll give that a shot this wildflower season. Thank you for sharing your photos!

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    Troy, Derek – just saw your comments – they were blocked by my spam filter.

    Those would make some Christmas tree!

    Great shot Derek!


  11. I have one of these in my front yard! we planted it many years ago and then a couple weeks ago it started to grow super tall like that out of the middle. its gotten really tall in just a few days! i cant wait to see what it looks like once it blooms!

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