Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Even farther back

with 14 comments

Click for greater clarity.

And this picture of yarrow goes even farther back in plant time than the last one, showing how the buds of Achillea millefolium first begin to reveal their shape in the woolly bundle in which they form. Note the multi-segmented, lacy greenery described by the millefolium, or thousand leaves, of the scientific name (and milfoil is another name for yarrow in English). Those finely dissected leaves have a balsamy scent, as you can confirm by touching them and then smelling your fingers.

Like the last photograph, this one comes from February 23 in Great Hills Park.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 10, 2012 at 1:59 PM

14 Responses

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  1. Gorgeous!

    Ariana Vincent

    March 10, 2012 at 2:07 PM

  2. Hi Steve

    I love the depth of field on this shot, the yarrow forms its own little world. I find it hard to work with something that is all green, colour and contrast are so much easier. You have brought a real richness to your subject. And again the texture is wonderful.



    March 10, 2012 at 4:50 PM

    • It was a shaded area, so I had to use a pretty wide aperture; the consequence was the shallow depth of field you mentioned, with only the front-most buds and some parts of the leaves in focus. You’re right that it can be difficult to work with a subject of mostly one color, but in this case I like all the verdure, and I’m glad you did too.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 10, 2012 at 5:07 PM

  3. I took a one day photography class at the local botanical garden once, and photographed an all green scene involving the sun and a backlit subject. I was excitedly explaining to another person in the class about my photographic find when someone of self proclaimed authority said, “Be careful of an all green subject, they are boring.” I being the sensitive type, never looked at it again.

    I love the view you captured. The lacy detail in the leaf structure and the soft white of the center bud formation is beautiful. Now I am going to look back in my files to see if I can find my green photograph from the gardens. I hope I didn’t delete it. 😉


    March 10, 2012 at 6:44 PM

    • Thanks for your telling us your story, Lynda. Let’s hope that you find your green picture from the gardens so you can re-experience the excitement you felt about it. Usually I’m drawn to scenes with a mixture of colors, but sometimes shades of a single color can be appealing. I’m pleased that you like this one.

      When it comes to green, I’m reminded of two things. The first is a Caesar salad I had a couple of decades ago in your former state, California. I remember that the salad was bland and unexciting, and that I characterized it as “relentlessly green.” The other thing is the opening line of a famous poem by García Lorca: “Verde que to quiero verde,” “Green how much I love you green.”

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 10, 2012 at 10:03 PM

  4. Steve, I continue to be inspired everyday by your photographs. I just thought I’d drop in and say that although I rarely comment I’m still out here and am always in awe of your work. Thank you for the wonderful work you produce and share with all of us here.

    Lemony (Gr)Egghead

    March 10, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    • You’re welcome, Melanie, and thanks for your vote of confidence. I keep going out there, always on the lookout for something new.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 10, 2012 at 10:07 PM

  5. Hi Steve .. beautiful and I love the way you add a few extras about the plant – fantastic photo .. beautiful .. cheers Hilary


    March 11, 2012 at 3:42 AM

    • Thanks, Hilary. As for adding a little information: once a teacher, always a teacher (even though I never taught botany or photography).

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 11, 2012 at 6:35 AM

      • Thanks Steve .. I think I should have been a teacher .. the latent learning coming out (very late in life) .. so I appreciate those added extras … cheers – it’s Spring here today – just glorious .. Hilary


        March 11, 2012 at 7:09 AM

      • It’s never to late to become a teacher; maybe that’s how you see your role in having a blog. Happy spring to you over there, from a third-day-in-a-row rainy (and thundery) Austin. It’ll be good for the spring wildflowers.

        Steve Schwartzman

        March 11, 2012 at 7:26 AM

      • Hi Steve .. sadly probably too old – but who knows where the blog will take me in due course. I gather it’s been raining your way rather a lot .. I’d love to see the Spring flowers – I never got to see the ones in Namibia, when I lived in South Africa – my mother wanted to visit them too … but we never made it – I’d like to make it one day… lovely then we’ll see more of your wonderful plant pics .. cheers Hilary


        March 11, 2012 at 7:32 AM

      • Ah, never say too old: my father kept teaching till he was 80. (I hope I can keep taking pictures at least that long.)

        Steve Schwartzman

        March 11, 2012 at 7:42 AM

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