humble yet essential

January 21, 2024  •  7 Comments

I would be hard-pressed to find someone staring at the onions in a grocery store.  Unlike shoppers gazing at the cheese cases as if they were at the Guggenheim taking in a Monet or van Gogh, people just grab the humble onion, and lob it into their basket or cart, not giving it another thought. Not me. I look deeply at the onions, as if part of my soul is contained therein.  To me, they are essential and vital to many prepared dishes. Onions cleanse the eyes by making them water when you slice and chop them, and when cooked, pique our tastebuds.  One person with whom I did a shoot several years ago said I went in circles while photographing my subjects, which I tend to do.  This was true of the onions I photographed this week. Just like the right human or other animal, these root crops are extremely photogenic. 


The purple or so-called red onions, have a deep rich color, with which I am certain a person could dye fabric.  The stems left to dry add gnarly character.

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As is the case with the flavor, the shape and color of the humble onion has multiple layers.

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I like this particular image because the dried growth ends of the onion remind me of a dirt road.  It is hard to tell where it leads.

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The handmade basket by fiber artist Donna Coates, complements the onion veins.  The two photographs that follow just let the yellow onion show off a bit.   

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Shall we all chop the humble onion, cook it the way we choose, and by doing so stave off the chill of winter?

The days are getting longer.  Here in northern New Mexico, there will be 1 minute and 28 seconds more daylight today.  Near the border of the United States and Canada, it will be 2 minutes and 23 seconds longer.

Thanks to Barbara F. R., Catherine S., Christina, Jean & Sam, Steve, Marilyn G., and Rebecca for commenting this week.

until next Monday,


a passion for the image©



Steve Immel(non-registered)
Thanks for the round and luscious onions, Daryl. The lowly onion punches above its weight in flavor, utility and beauty. There's no end to the flavor and texture they bring whether sauteed roasted or raw as a garnish. The roundness and sheen of the onion are a photographer's delight and you've done them proud. Like you I'm drawn to the gnarly stems of the red onions, each no doubt, completely unique. Kudos for the basket, dish and chef's knife. They're excellent partners for your concoctions.
Charlie Kalogeros-Chattan(non-registered)
I've always felt the onion to be a metaphor for self. You peel away layer after layer trying to understand and then when you arrive at the center Poof! there's nothing there. It turns out any meaning was all in the layers.
Dave Okerberg(non-registered)
This morning, before I read your blog, I made some scrambled eggs and cut into a red onion. I noticed the beauty of the inner part with the various patters of "veins" running this way and that. And then I got your now I say, onions are a work of Art!
Ann Alexander(non-registered)
You have opened my eyes to the beauty of onions.
Brenda Morgan(non-registered)
I agree with the other people leaving comments that onions are essential to everything, possibly my favorite food. I just finished off a huge pot of chicken curry soup enhanced by the humble yellow -brown onion. I thought you did a great job in capturing the personality of the humble onion.
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