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Beautiful in Death: 1


It’s the time of year when plants are dead, dormant, or dying: dropping leaves, shriveling up, slumping to the ground. At least they are if you’re north of the equator.

But all year, if you look for it, there are signs of death in life, as well as the other way around. I look for them, for I find a strange, guilty pleasure in the beauties of death and dying.



I take photos of what I see, and since I take hundreds of photos (oh, the greatness of digital cameras: I don’t have to feel guilty about wasting film, or the poison chemicals it will take to process it)—since I take hundreds of photos, some of them turn out almost like what I was looking at, or, if I’m really lucky, like what I was feeling as I looked. I keep them. (To be honest, I also keep a lot of others; it’s a great way to learn how not to make a picture.)

In this post, I’m showing a few of the photos I’ve made on the beauties of death. As the number after the title hints, this isn’t going to be the last of this.

I know I’m not the only one who values the beauty in death: besides the fact that I’m not megalomaniac enough to think I’m that unique, I’ve seen some incredible photos on the subject, on the web and off.  I’d be interested to hear of others’ transcendent moments with death, and maybe even do a guest post of photos, if there’s an interest. To me, the amazing thing is that, no matter how many people take (or paint) a picture of the same thing, any honest pictures will be fresh. No one sees things quite the same way.



{ 5 comments… add one }

  • Sue December 9, 2008, 6:47 pm

    My personal theme for photo taking for the summer was, “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.” I was not blogging at the time, and I think I probably took some pics of dead and dying things, as well as the extra hoses and things lying around. I know I have photos of sunflower leaves being ravaged by hoards of caterpillars. (I was brave and let the caterpillars eat on the sunflowers, and they did not kill the plants.)

    Anyway, I love your photos!

  • Karen - An Artists Garden December 10, 2008, 1:00 am

    Lovely picture – I also have a fascination for the way plant life dies – it can be so beautiful.

  • Sylvia (England) December 10, 2008, 1:18 am

    Pomona, you have managed to show a twist to this subject. I expected to see lots of photos like the first one – brown. But you went on to show a dropped flower head and a dieing flower head (tulip?) – these are really lovely. I do love the look of fallen flower petals covering the ground and the last photo is amazing – very clever and unusual.

    Best wishes Sylvia (England)

  • cheryl December 10, 2008, 7:09 am

    Beautiful photos! Thank you so much for the “fav” status! You rock! Stay warm, Cheryl

  • Pomona Belvedere December 12, 2008, 5:16 pm

    It’s nice to hear your comments on the beauties of death. I do have a category “Beauty in Imperfection” which probably equates to Sue’s “Ugly”. I was interested to hear about the experiment in letting the caterpillars eat sunflowers; it’s pioneers like you who help convince people that toxins aren’t always necessary.

    Yes, the first and last photos are both tulips; this was kind of a tulip-heavy post.

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