Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography


with 13 comments

Not to worry, the title isn’t a typo for worry but a backwards spelling of yarrow. That’s my way of saying that this photograph goes backwards in time, from the flowers of Achillea millefolium, which you saw in the last post, to the fuzzy buds of a preceding stage. I took this picture on February 23 in Great Hills Park, half a mile downhill from where I live.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 10, 2012 at 5:24 AM

13 Responses

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  1. I have a lot of Yarrow but I’ve never looked at it this closely. I will most certainly look at mine differently from now on. Looks like each bud is unfolding from its own cocoon. Very interesting and beautiful!

    Thank you for sharing your skill and talent. I very much enjoy your pictures.

    Cindy Hoyt

    March 10, 2012 at 5:58 AM

    • You’re welcome; I’m happy to share. In my other blog last month I wrote about the word propinquity, and it’s true that I often like to get close to my subjects because that sort of view can reveal things we’d never know otherwise.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 10, 2012 at 7:35 AM

  2. I like all of your wildflower photos but this one is somehow special.


    March 10, 2012 at 10:08 AM

    • Thank you. Was it perhaps the double-decker of two sets of buds in this picture that made it special for you?

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 15, 2012 at 10:52 PM

      • I think it’s the anticipation of blooming–every year when I walk the trails and woods knowing what’s coming I find all the fat buds and can’t wait till they open. Yarrow here is a summer plant, and means summer is here.


        March 16, 2012 at 7:30 AM

      • In Austin we’ve had several days this year when the temperature got into the low 80s (including yesterday), so by northern standards it’s already summer here.

        Steve Schwartzman

        March 16, 2012 at 7:37 AM

  3. I like the fresh colors of the picture.


    March 10, 2012 at 10:58 AM

    • Things have indeed been looking fresh here from the rain we’ve had (and continue to have). This plant was growing in the shade and looked richly green to me.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 10, 2012 at 11:09 AM

      • My prayer today is that you will continue to have rain when you need it this year. And also that the mowers will give the wildflowers a miss!


        March 10, 2012 at 12:29 PM

      • Thanks for your good wishes. I’d say there’s a better chance of getting sustained rain—even in the middle of a desert—than of ever getting the mowers to stop cutting down wildflowers. (Oh, cynical me.)

        Steve Schwartzman

        March 10, 2012 at 12:43 PM

  4. […] 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 […]

  5. I have a cactus whose early buds are covered with the same fine, thready netting. It’s amazing to me how closely it mimics the web of certain spiders, like this (vaguely horrific) example from our very own state!


    March 11, 2012 at 12:19 PM

    • Now that you mention it, I guess I have seen cactus buds like that. It seems to be another example of convergent evolution, in which unrelated types of plants develop the same structure.

      As for the giant spiderweb, I remember reading about it at the time; I’m sorry I didn’t make the effort to go there then. If it was a response to the drought, then it may not get repeated in this spring of abundant rain, and I’ll have missed my chance.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 11, 2012 at 12:31 PM

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