One Single Flower: Lens-Artists Challenge 101

The world needs who you were made to be.


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

Stop by Cee’s blog for more gorgeous floral entries in Lens-Artists Challenge #101, and join Patti of P. A. Moed for the next release on June 20, 2020.

Rusha Sams

All photos from iPhone Xs.

31 thoughts on “One Single Flower: Lens-Artists Challenge 101

    1. Oh, the Places We See

      Thank you for this very kind comment. I love looking inside flowers — there’s a whole other world in there! And since I can’t travel much right now, I’m enjoying looking more closely at what’s at hand.

  1. Cee Neuner

    Oh what fantastic macros you have delighted us with. White is so hard to capture and you absolutely nailed each and every photo. So very awe-inspiring 😀

  2. pattimoed

    Beautiful images and words, Rusha. It’s clear that you adore this flower! It’s one of my favorite flowers and scents when we’re visiting the South.

      1. kzmcb

        Not in my state, usually. They’re found in the top half of Australia where it’s tropical. Our frosts and summers would destroy them. I’ve admired them, there, for their simple beauty and delightful fragrance.

  3. Tina Schell

    Gorgeous images Rusha. I know what you mean about the height – many’s the time I’ve stood on my car hood to shoot some of the higher blooms 😊. Like you, I absolutely adore the magnificent magnolia. As a northerner by birth I’ve come to love them as my favorite southern blossom – although I must admit the scent of jasmine is a strong contender!

    1. Oh, the Places We See

      Thanks for reading and commenting. There are many blooms that can’t be reached, but that just may be God’s way if letting us appreciate some things from a distance. I love magnolias and don’t know that I’ve been near enough jasmine to know the smell. So I now have a new adventure lined up!!

    1. Oh, the Places We See

      Thanks so much. I love photographing them, but the really pretty ones are getting too high!!! Appreciate your taking the time to look. Hope your summer is going well even with a slow recovery right now.

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