The breaking sunlight on winter mornings can cast dramatic highlights on nature's world. Recently I visited Stanford’s cactus garden to see what was growing - and glowing - in the morning sunlight. The spiny cactus plants stood tall among their neighbors guarded by sharp spiny needles that glistened in the morning light, warning us to keep our distance.
As I expected, the cactus garden's flower blossoms were limited at this time of year, but those thorny spines took center stage, standing out in the golden light. The spines are actually a modified plant leaf designed to protect the juicy insides from the desert predators.
You can’t beat the dawn light for its dramatic effect, though, providing us a fleeting opportunity to enjoy Mother Nature’s world. As the sun gets higher the dramatic contrast will disappear... so we appreciate the scene while we can.