Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Fading sunflower blowing in the prairie wind

with 19 comments

Click for better color and clarity.

When a sunflower has passed its prime, its yellow ray flowers shrivel and its central disk begins to dry out. The wind met this sunflower in that stage last week on a still-undeveloped piece of prairie at Austin’s former Bergstrom Airport.

© 2011 Steven Schwartzman

(Look here for information, including a clickable map showing where the species grows, about the “common” sunflower, Helianthus annuus, which I find uncommonly attractive.)


Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 22, 2011 at 7:53 AM

19 Responses

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  1. It’s fading beautifully! Love the sense of motion.

    Texas Susan

    June 22, 2011 at 9:23 AM

  2. quite beautiful.


    June 22, 2011 at 11:21 AM

  3. The flower is past its prime, but its beauty remains. Great photo!


    June 22, 2011 at 11:41 PM

    • Glad you like it. I’ve often found appeal even in the shriveled and dry forms that plants assume when they’re dead. I plan to post pictures of that stage of their life in this column from time to time.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 23, 2011 at 7:17 AM

  4. Those colours …

    You managed to make the centaurea in your avatar look like a statue. It takes some effort to remember it is just a medium sized flower.


    June 23, 2011 at 4:42 AM

    • I hadn’t ever thought about my picture of the basket-flower — which figured in this column’s first post and serves as its avatar — as a statue, but now that you use the word I can see it that way. I hope that the image will prove as durable as a statue. Thanks for your metaphor.

      And as for colors, I love them. For years I worked in black and white, but now my passion is for colors.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 23, 2011 at 7:09 AM

  5. Un tournesol décoiffé, j’adore!

    [Translation: A sunflower with its hair messed up, I love it!]


    June 26, 2011 at 6:41 AM

  6. This is lovely Steve. Great color, and very wistful composition 🙂


    June 27, 2011 at 3:09 PM

  7. I can actually feel the wind when looking at this sunflower and that is a great compliment on your photography, Steve.


    July 5, 2011 at 9:42 AM

    • Thanks. Prairies are often windy places, and those who would photograph there learn to deal with it. Sometimes going with the wind is better than trying to resist it.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 5, 2011 at 12:17 PM

  8. […] Fading sunflower blowing in the prairie wind […]

  9. I love how you caught the flower as it begins to die in such a beautiful and colorful way. Perfect!


    September 21, 2011 at 2:57 PM

    • I was fascinated by the way the closest of the ray flowers began to curl into a spiral surface, something I hadn’t ever seen a sunflower do.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 21, 2011 at 3:20 PM

  10. The wind has given the sunflower new life and movement. Brilliant catch, I do like sunflowers they’re the happiest of flowers. 🙂


    January 5, 2012 at 1:59 PM

    • I’m glad to hear you’re a fan of sunflowers too. They’ve appeared in this blog more than any other native species.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 5, 2012 at 2:06 PM

  11. […] my collaboration with wildflower photographer Steven Schwartzman: his photographic portrait of a sunflower in the wind (with permission) inspired this piece.  If […]

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