Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography


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Click for increased clarity and considerably greater size.

It was a colony of sunflowers that waylayed me yesterday morning on the south side of Wells Branch Parkway just east of Dessau Rd. on the Blackland Prairie, but the large field south of the sunflowers proved to hold much more. Almost missing it, I drove south on Dessau Rd., when suddenly I caught a telltale glimpse, a patch of violet, across the road to my left; the tale the color swatch told was bluebells, Eustoma exaltatum. Three times in ten days now I’ve happily found some in that far northeastern part of Austin, and each time in a sump that, cracked though the ground was, must have retained enough moisture for the bluebells to thrive in the continuing drought. Shown here is the main stand of yesterday’s colony, the densest of the three. The predominantly vertical brown strokes are the dried out remains of last year’s bushy bluestem, Andropogon glomeratus, a native grass that turns wonderfully fluffy when it goes to seed in the fall.

© 2011 Steven Schwartzman

(Look here for more information about bluebells, which, even more than bluebonnets, aren’t blue.)

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 14, 2011 at 6:40 AM

3 Responses

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  1. […] I went to the prairie in northeast Austin four days ago to photograph sunflowers, I found a dense group of bluebells some distance behind the sunflowers. Because I’ve seen bluebells growing in that part of town […]

  2. […] or purple than blue. I talked about the same color discrepancy last year when I showed pictures of bluebells. Of course colors fall along a continuum, and different people draw different dividing lines […]

  3. […] too sodden to build on. If you’re not familiar with bluebells, you may want to glance at a colony of these flowers I photographed three years ago just a few feet away on the same […]

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