Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Another complexification

with 12 comments

This past Wednesday, after a post that included a closeup of rattan fruits, I followed up later in the day with a view from much farther away showing how tangled these vines often are. Now it occurs to me that yesterday morning’s post showing a closeup of a Mexican devilweed flower head also needs a follow-up, this time in order to show how complex the slender, vividly chartreuse stems of Chloracantha spinosa can be; you can also appreciate the accuracy of the last post’s description of this plant as “strictly erect.” Because the flower heads of Mexican devilweed form at the tips of the stalks, you don’t see any flowers in this view that was taken closer to the ground.

Today’s photograph is from a session at Meadow Lake Park in Round Rock, a northern suburb of Austin, on September 23, 2011. It was at that late date that I first figured out the identity of this species and photographed it (what took me so long, I don’t know).

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 15, 2012 at 5:06 AM

12 Responses

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  1. Cool! These criss-crossing stems create some nice lines and angles. Great shot!!


    January 15, 2012 at 10:23 AM

    • Yesterday I thought about Phil Spector’s “Wall of Sound” in music and I perceived this picture as a wall of green.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 15, 2012 at 11:29 AM

  2. I agree. As always I like the patterns that emerge from natural forms in your photographs.


    January 15, 2012 at 12:28 PM

    • You just made me wonder whether any college has ever offered a course on the subject of patterns. There have been books showing patterns in nature, but have people ever undertaken a general and systematic study of patterns?

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 15, 2012 at 12:44 PM

  3. This is very interesting to look at..kind of like a loosely woven basket. Great photo Steve!


    January 15, 2012 at 2:31 PM

  4. Such fantastic visual texture! The Granny-Smith green is so sprightly and intense it’s almost blinding, too–somehow I imagine if you were in close to the stems staring at them for any length of time for the photo-op you’d get strong afterimages when you closed your eyes. In any case, the photo makes a wonderful wallpaper-like pattern out of the great repetitive “forest” of stems.


    January 15, 2012 at 3:59 PM

    • Thanks, Kathryn. I like the way you describe all this: maybe I can hire you as a publicist.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 15, 2012 at 5:54 PM

  5. Great stuff here Steve!!! I love the vertical panorama crop.

    Brian Comeau

    January 17, 2012 at 7:59 PM

    • Thanks. It’s not that common of a cropping, but I’ve used it from time to time. In this case it brings out the “strictly erect” growth pattern of the species.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 17, 2012 at 9:11 PM

  6. […] of all these stalks in such close company? This strikes me as a magenta or fuchsia counterpart to the chartreuse Mexican devilweed stalks you saw a closer view of recently, even if the Chamaesyce isn’t as “strictly […]

  7. […] north of Austin. That was the same place where, on a follow-up visit, I first photographed the Mexican devilweed that appeared in a post last […]

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