Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Auld Lang Syne

with 9 comments

Click for more detail and much larger size.

Readers of this column know from repeated comments I’ve made that 2011 has brought one of the worst droughts ever recorded in Texas. With that in mind, I thought I’d take a few days to show you how lush things were here only a year ago. That lushness was especially evident last spring, when I photographed this dense colony of coreopsis (perhaps Coreopsis tinctoria) at Brushy Creek Lake in Cedar Park, a suburb just north of Austin. One common name for this wildflower and closely related species is goldenwave. You may imagine from looking at this photograph, and I’ll confirm from having been there, that the wind really can blow a dense colony of these flowers into golden waves.

(For those interested in the craft of photography, point 8 in About My Techniques is relevant here.)

© 2011 Steven Schwartzman


Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 26, 2011 at 6:00 AM

9 Responses

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  1. This photo makes me smile. Stay cool out there, ok?


    July 26, 2011 at 11:59 AM

    • Happy smile. By coincidence—or maybe inspired by today’s post—I went back to the place shown in the photograph. Now that area is covered with a large colony of what’s called snow-on-the-mountain, a very different looking plant. I’m excited to see what it’ll look like in a month or two when it produces showy white bracts.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 26, 2011 at 12:29 PM

  2. […] you saw a broad colony of goldenwave, Coreopsis tinctoria. Now, also from the wet spring of 2010, here’s a very different view of […]

  3. […] one recent morning I posted a photograph of a dense colony of coreopsis as it had appeared in the rain-rich spring of 2010. Made curious by my own post, a few hours later […]

  4. […] I went back on July 26 to Brushy Creek Lake Park, the scene of last year’s coreopsis colony and this season’s expectant snow-on-the-mountain colony, I also came upon a dead prickly pear […]

  5. […] conditions are right. That was the case in the spring of 2010, as you can see if you go back to a picture that I posted nostalgically during the drought of […]

  6. […] This was the only coreopsis I saw in the park that day, but if you want a striking reminder of how much nature can vary from year to year, check out a panoramic view of this site from the spring of 2010. […]

  7. HUGE difference between this photo and what’s happening in 2013 at the same exact spot!!


    June 21, 2013 at 7:46 AM

    • Isn’t it startling how different the same place can be from one year to another? That was an early lesson I learned when I got interested in native plants. In particular, I’d photographed a dense colony of prairie verbenas one year, and when I went returned on the same date the following year there wasn’t a single flower in sight.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 21, 2013 at 7:53 AM

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