White Sands is a truly incredible place, I just went there a few days ago and am excited to see the film!  For now here’s one from a trip I took there last year.  The gypsum sand is so fine and purely white, making for some of the best looking sand ripples I have seen.  The hues around sunrise and sunset were colors I had never seen before in nature.  This soaptree yucca was growing on top of a dune, captured during that special moment of light as the sun was just halfway above the clouds on the horizon.

Shot Notes:

Provia 100f 4x5, 210mm lens
1 second at f45, polarizing and warming filters

Requested Anonymously

Lilligant’s flower adorns her head like a crown, but according to the pokédex, coaxing the flower to bloom is a difficult challenge. In any gardening, this is often a challenge. Everything from light, water, temperature and more can affect a flower’s ability to bloom. So, scientifically, here’s a few reasons why even veteran trainers find it difficult to get their Lilligant to bloom.

Flowers are the reproductive organs of plants. Their purpose is to create seeds, by uniting the plant’s sperm (often in the form of pollen) with the ovules (eggs). When a plant is ready to reproduce, it will grow and bloom its flowers. The whole process has been linked to one gene, called Apetala1, which triggers the entire reproductive development of a plant, including the growth of flowers. The Apetala1 gene activates in response to environmental cues, such as light, water and temperature we mentioned earlier, although it obviously differs between species of plants.

Knowing that flowers are the reproductive organs of plants answers many of our questions already. If the plant is not healthy, or in a bad environment, it will not reproduce and therefore will not bloom. If a plant does not get enough light or water, it wilts and will barely be able to photosynthesize, let alone reproduce. Overwatering a plant can be just as bad; too much water will wash away many of the vital nutrients in the soil. Nutrient deficiency can also be caused by the roots being planted too deep or too shallow in the soil, or if there’s lots of other plants nearby they could be taking up the nutrients. If a plant is not getting enough nutrients, if it flowers at all sometimes it will flower earlier than usual, eager to reproduce before its death.

Even the size of the plant has an impact on flowering. Naturally, larger plants with more leaves need more nutrients and care to stay healthy, and for a 1.1 meter-tall flower like Lilligant that would be a feat. The larger a plant is too, the harder it is for sap to move through the plant, which strangely enough is why beating some bushes with a broom will trigger them to flower.

Flowers are the reproductive organ of plants. Because of this, Lilligant will not bloom unless it is in peak physical condition, getting adequate nutrients and care. Properly caring for Lilligant is a challenge for many trainers.

The pokédex also mentions that Lilligant’s flower, when it does bloom, has a relaxing scent. Flowers evolved to smell nice to attract animals that help pollinate them, such as bees and butterflies. Some plants produce smells that cater to specific creatures: for example, the Soaptree emits an aroma exclusively attractive to yucca moths. In most plants, it is the outer layers of the petals that produce the aroma, but others, such as orchids, have an entire gland called an osmophore dedicated to producing strong, aromatic scents.