This past Monday I found myself in possession of a rare bit of spare time around sunset, so I zipped down to Little Corona Beach, which is just off Pacific Coast Highway in Corona Del Mar. My primary purpose for the trip was to try out my new three-stop neutral density filter, but I found a nice surprise at the entrance to the beach:
The agaves were absolutely gorgeous, especially since their quickly-growing inflorescences could be composed with classic California ocean scenes in the background.
These inflorescences won’t be around forever. Just like the Agave I photographed earlier this year (gallery 1, gallery 2), the inflorescence will grow to a certain height, burst into flower, and then die (and then likely get ripped out by the landscapers, which is what happened to the one at OCC). Also, agaves typically flower only once during their entire lives.
So, local photographers, this is your only chance to capture these agaves at their peak. I’m no botanist, but my guess is that they’ll quickly grow too tall for their tips to be included in a sea-scape composition without a ladder. I don’t know how long it will be until they flower, either, but my guess is we’ve got a few weeks (as I didn’t see any flower buds present yet).
If you do go and photograph them, I’ve got only two requests:
- Respect the fence that protects the agaves and their surrounding vegetation. The bluffs are very delicate, and local groups have been working very hard to re-vegetate the area.
- If you do get some good shots, I’d love it if you could share them with everyone by posting a comment here linking to them.
If you go around sunset, they’ll be lit perfectly for compositions that include Little Corona in the background, and there’s plenty of space to setup without trampling plants. At sunrise they should be lit so that you could compose them with Catalina or the open ocean (or possibly Newport Harbor’s entrance) in the background, but I’m not certain how much area there will be to setup, and don’t know if other elements will get in the way (as there are houses nearby).
So, go work your mojo on them! I only had a few minutes, and I’d love to see what folks can do with more time.
To see more pictures from my recent visit to Little Corona, head to my Little Corona Beach Gallery or view the Flash slideshow below.
Little Corona Beach: Located at the intersection of Poppy Ave. and Ocean Blvd. in Corona Del Mar (Newport Beach), CA. From Pacific Coast Highway (Highway 1) turn onto Poppy Ave, and park on the street once you get to Ocean Blvd (a few blocks from PCH). Street parking may be difficult to find at peak times, but was easy to get on a weekday evening. From the street you’ll walk down a moderately steep paved ramp to the beach, but the agaves are at the top, just at the intersection of Ocean and Poppy. Park is open from 6am – 10pm.
[Update Sept. 19, 2011: The agaves are still growing their inflorescences, and look much like they do in the pictures above.]