Thursday, May 07, 2009

Lophophora diffusa swelling with water, time-lapse video

I'm keeping my plants completely dry during their winter dormancy and consequently they are rather flaccid come spring. The following time-lapse video shows a couple of my larger Lophophora diffusa plants growing turgid after having their first drink of water in several months.

It seems like the movie couldn't be embedded - you can watch it at

In a fit of thoughtlessness I also watered the Bowiea volubilis visible in the background. This plant also started to expand generating visual “noise” that makes it harder to see exactly what moves when and where. To amend this mistake I inserted the white markers that act as fixpoints showing how much the cactus will have expanded by the time the video ends.

The pictures used for the time-lapse video were taken over a period of 88 hours starting March 6, 2009 in the afternoon through March 10 in the morning. A picture was taken every 15 minuttes giving a total of 352 photos; these are played back at 24 frames per second resulting in a video lasting slightly less than 15 seconds. Another piece of technical trivia is that each second of the time-lapse video corresponds to 6 hours real-time.

The pictures used for the high-definition (1280x720) version of the video above were cropped to obtain the 16:9 aspect ratio. A time-lapse video based on the uncropped and unmanipulated photos (without white markers) is shown below.

It seems like the movie couldn't be embedded - you can watch it at

The swelling of the plants is not as evident as I had hoped for so I might try doing another “swelling with water” time-lapse video again next year – this time starring some of the plants from my coldhouse (as they are drought dormant for a longer time than my windowsill grown plants). Also the flickering, caused by the shifting light conditions during the day, is a bit disturbing. If I do a video like this again I'll see if I can avoid ambient light completely.


  1. Sebastian SantecchiaMay 08, 2009 6:11 PM

    muy buena filmaciones; felicidades

  2. Actually, I don't think the change in light to be that much distracting. It gives the video a creepy ambient, like some 1960's Hammer Studio horror film, with lightning storms on the outside while the monster grows on the castle basement. :D

  3. Wow!! astonishing! I also thought that were a Thundersturm out there. Very well done.


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