Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Rembrandt comes to central Texas

with 13 comments

Seed head of a Texas thistle, Cirsium texanum; click to enlarge.

Yes, here’s a Rembrandtesque view of a Texas thistle drying out and coming apart, which it must do to accomplish its purpose of disseminating seeds. As pretty as a thistle flower head can be when it’s fresh, it has a different appeal—but still an appeal, even if chaotic—when it’s drying out. Shown here is a Texas thistle, Cirsium texanum, that had already advanced to that stage on the Brushy Creek Regional Trail in Williamson County in mid-May of this year.

© 2011 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 7, 2011 at 2:41 PM

13 Responses

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  1. Nice detail Steve


    July 7, 2011 at 3:06 PM

  2. A beautiful image. Love the details in the seeds.


    July 7, 2011 at 4:40 PM

    • Thank you. One of the virtues of macro photography is getting to see details not normally visible to human eyes.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 7, 2011 at 5:12 PM

  3. I’m so pleased to have discovered your blog. I love the luminous angel hair that tops your Texas thistle. You simultaneously captured the light and the chaos.

    Barbara Youngleson

    July 7, 2011 at 8:45 PM

    • Thank you. I like your description of “the light and the chaos” of “the luminous angel hair.”

      I see that you, too, have posted a picture of a thistle on your blog recently.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 7, 2011 at 9:27 PM

  4. I don’t pretend to be a photographer, Steve ~ I just try to capture, as best I can with my little digital, the designs that textures, colours, shapes and lines form around me. However, I appreciate the work of true photographers, like yourself, and especially delight in aptly worded descriptions. Luminous angel hair appeals to me, as well.

    As for Cirsium texanum, it is not performing any stranger acts than Homo sapiens engage in to disseminate their seed.

    Carol Wiebe

    July 8, 2011 at 8:28 PM

    • Thanks for your comments, Carol. Your comparison of the strangeness of seed dissemination in Cirsium texanum and Homo sapiens is original and apt. I hope you’ll keep visiting the world of nature here in central Texas.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 8, 2011 at 8:48 PM

  5. this reminds me of a wet cat. so cute. i think i’m in trouble – really discovering your site.

    yi-ching lin

    August 12, 2011 at 2:06 PM

    • Now there’s a novel comparison: a wet cat. Not something I’d’ve thought of, but I’ll agree on the cuteness. And don’t be troubled, no harm has been known to come to frequenters of this blog. Stop by as often as you like.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 12, 2011 at 2:14 PM

      • see the comparison? (<–click here) trouble = procrastination, but there's a time for everything, right? (smile)

        yi-ching lin

        August 12, 2011 at 2:28 PM

      • Okay, I do see the similarity in appearance, even if the thistle was thoroughly dried out.

        Steve Schwartzman

        August 12, 2011 at 2:39 PM

      • ah, your words, “drying out,” had me believe that it was still drying out…(smile)

        yi-ching lin

        August 12, 2011 at 2:45 PM

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