Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

A wider view of dense bluebonnets

with 20 comments

Click for greater size and clarity.

By coincidence, my wife Eve has been attending a three-day seminar at the J.J. Pickle Research Campus, the place outside of which I photographed a bluebonnet colony on March 26. When I went to pick her up there yesterday at 5 PM, I took a picture of an even larger colony of bluebonnets in a field inside the campus, so here’s a broader view than the one you saw in the last post.

This photograph has the distinction of being the first one I’ve ever shown here that I took on my iPhone 4s. I’m not about to abandon my fancy DSLR (digital single-lens reflex camera), but I think you’ll agree that the phone did a pretty good job. It even attached the latitude, longitude, and altitude of the location (30,23.27N, 97,43.67W, 243.00 m), though it didn’t record the scent of the bluebonnets. Guess we’ll have to wait for the iPhone 5 for that feature.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 29, 2012 at 1:13 PM

20 Responses

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  1. Love the color Purple:)

    cravesadventure

    March 29, 2012 at 1:29 PM

  2. Just beautiful!!!!!

    dhphotosite

    March 29, 2012 at 1:58 PM

    • Thanks, David. I don’t mean to sound blasé, but this is a pretty common sight in some parts of central Texas at this time of year.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 29, 2012 at 2:20 PM

  3. As beautiful as all of your photographs are, this is my favorite. I can smell the blooms and feel the warmth with this one. Well, probably because it is snowing again here right now and I’m fed up with it. But the scope of the photo gives me pleasure. Thank you!

    Andree

    March 29, 2012 at 5:07 PM

    • I’m glad the scope of this picture did it for you, Andree. We can fantasize that your flakes of snow will turn into the creamy white tops of these bluebonnets. Either that or you’ll have to visit Texas and stay until your own locale warms up.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 29, 2012 at 5:26 PM

  4. Scary thought, it won’t be long till there’s an ap for that! Truly, this is a gorgeous shot.

    Sheila T Illustrated

    March 29, 2012 at 6:05 PM

    • Thanks, Sheila. I hope you got to see a display like this when you visited Houston, Galveston, and Plano. Even though I mentioned a phone that captures scent, I think we’re still a long way from that, but technology has continued to advance, so who knows?

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 29, 2012 at 6:23 PM

      • I wish I HAD seen these on my visits to Texas. I will ask for the nature tour the next time I visit my brother and sister-in-law. As for advances in technology, nothing would surprise me!

        Sheila T Illustrated

        March 29, 2012 at 9:50 PM

      • Let’s hope you can make a visit to Texas in April or May, when the spring wildflowers are at their peak.

        Steve Schwartzman

        March 29, 2012 at 10:22 PM

  5. Ah, and those bluebonnets are part of what I saw that one spring in West Texas. Thank you for both these brilliant photos. Amazing how well the iphone 4 did; I wouldn’t have expected such clarity.

    Susan Scheid

    March 29, 2012 at 8:54 PM

    • It’s good that you got to experience that one spring in West Texas, Susan, including the bluebonnets. In the Big Bend there’s a “giant” species that’s considerably larger than the one shown here. To placate all regions of the state, the Texas legislature made the various species of bluebonnet collectively the state wildflower.

      The iPhone 4s has a camera that takes 8-megapixel pictures, so there’s plenty of detail. It can’t do macro photographs, which I take so many of, but when I’m not lugging my camera bag around and come across a scene that’s not technically demanding, the iPhone camera is a good stand-in.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 29, 2012 at 10:17 PM

  6. Steve, these are lovely, and the iPhone shot is surprisingly clear! NICE!

    So, the child in me wants to lie down in those Blue Bonnets and watch the sky while drinking in the scent, but the grown up in me is too practical for that! Bugs, allergies, BEES… I am certain someone mentioned bees either here or in the previous post. I love my bees, but I wear a bee suit when I have to work with them. Throwing myself into their path is another thing altogether! ~ Lynda

    pixilated2

    March 30, 2012 at 10:43 AM

    • I can see you’re in conflict over the bluebonnets. I don’t have a problem with the bees, but mosquitoes fill in and make a beeline for me, and chiggers think I’m manna from heaven. Parents pose their kids in bluebonnets for short periods, and the kids live to tell the tale, so I think you’d be okay for a brief encounter too.

      One reason the iPhone produced such a clear picture is that its camera lens has a very short focal length, giving it a lot of depth of field.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 30, 2012 at 4:09 PM

  7. [...] Bluebonnets have been heavily promoted and even mythologized in Texas, but all that acclaim, however warranted—up to a point—has had the unintended consequence of taking attention away from many other wildflowers that should be better known. Some of those can also form large colonies, two examples being the greenthreads and firewheels you saw earlier this week. Today’s post introduces another one, prairie verbena, Glandularia bipinnatifida. On the overcast afternoon of March 27th I found this huge colony, only a part of which appears in the photograph, on US 290 just east of US 281 in the Texas Hill Country south of Johnson City. [...]

  8. [...] photographs taken on March 26 and March 29 you saw dense colonies of bluebonnets, Lupinus texensis. Now, from northeast Austin on March 14, [...]

  9. Spectacular! Flowers en masse are always impressive. I thought they looked a bit like lupins & then I see by their Latin name that they are, though not the garden variety I’m used to.

    Sonya Chasey

    April 3, 2012 at 1:13 PM

    • If it’s dense displays of wildflowers you’re after, Texas is a good place to visit. Yes, bluebonnets are lupines, and there are various species of bluebonnets in Texas as well as other types of lupines in other parts of the United States. I’m not familiar with the ones cultivated in Europe that you’re used to.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 3, 2012 at 1:29 PM

  10. Nice framing, filling it like that. Monet-ish.

    The iPhone does take good “snaps”. Close to a toy camera particularly when used with some good apps like Instagram. Happy snapping.

    signature103

    May 15, 2012 at 4:39 PM

    • I cropped the picture a bit to make it into more of a panorama, but other than that, the image is straight out of the camera. It’s good to know I’ll always have some sort of camera with me, just in case.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 15, 2012 at 4:56 PM


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