The world needs who you were made to be.Anonymous
Southern magnolias have been a part of me all my life. From the time I was born in Louisiana and then moved to Arkansas and Tennessee, I’ve never been without these gracious gems of trees, towering over lawns and stately homes (humble ones as well) with their glossy green leaves and velvety white tepals unfolding for all to see.
And so with the Lens-Artists Challenge #101: One Single Flower from Cee Neuner, a photographer who has taught many the art of photographing flowers, I bring you the mysterious Magnolia Grandiflora.
Looking almost the part of a woman covering her face with a shawl or burqa, the magnolia remains hidden as it emerges from its budding state.
Almost too quickly, however, it reveals (coyly, as it were) the inner beauty and depth of color as the creamy white folds unfurl gracefully.
The anatomy of the carpels atop the stamen is a grand miracle of nature, revealing order, symmetry, and inner beauty surrounded by white clothing.
And then full on, Magnolia Grandiflora deserves its name, for it commands the attention of all who come within range, unable to resist a look inside, even if they have to stand on tiptoe.
Almost when the bloom has reached its peak, a magnolia will spill forth its beauty as it holds fast to creamy layers, knowing that browning will come quickly.
And those who are near are rewarded with nature’s most appealing scent.
“Like the magnolia tree,
She bends with the wind,
Trials and tribulation may weather her,
Yet, after the storm her beauty blooms,
See her standing there, like steel,
With her roots forever buried,
Deep in her Southern soil.”
― Nancy B. Brewer, Letters from Lizzie
All photos from iPhone Xs.