Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

A different purple

with 15 comments

Click for greater clarity.

You’ve already seen phlox in these pages, and although I haven’t shown examples of all the colors it can come in, one that I did show is purple. Another purple springtime wildflower in Texas is stork’s bill, Erodium texanum, which like so many other species had a good year in 2012. Here you see a colony of them mixed in with Indian paintbrushes. While this species of paintbrush, Castilleja indivisa, is usually red or red-orange, the colony in today’s photograph shows that there are occasional variants whose color is a pale salmon or a creamy off-white.

I photographed this roadside scene on March 27 east of Johnson City, Texas. The town was named after forebears of Lyndon Johnson, whose wife became a co-founder of what is now called the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. The stork’s bill was named after its seed capsules, which are long and slender.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 28, 2012 at 5:32 AM

15 Responses

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  1. Great picture! This photo reminds me of the Ishihara Color Blind Test 😉


    April 28, 2012 at 7:34 AM

    • Too bad I couldn’t arrange the flowers by color to represent a letter or a recognizable pattern.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 28, 2012 at 7:59 AM

  2. I don’t often comment but really enjoy your posts! Your photos are gorgeous. I added you to my blogroll for others to enjoy as well


    April 28, 2012 at 8:37 AM

    • Thanks for the addition. I could say that my continuing adding of pictures here is a consequence of my having been a math teacher, and although I wouldn’t want to subtract from nature’s attractiveness in its own right, it is very mathematical at times.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 28, 2012 at 8:46 AM

  3. I used to sew cotton dresses.. this one reminds me of the pretty little flower patterned fabric I’d pick out! I guess now I see where the fabric maker found their inspiration!!

    Just A Smidgen

    April 28, 2012 at 9:17 AM

    • You’re right in pointing out that people have long been inspired by nature and have copied many of its patterns.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 28, 2012 at 9:57 AM

  4. And to take Just A Smidgen’s comment a bit further, once those dresses my grandmother and mother had sewn wore out, they became scraps for quilts, including this one that was completely hand-pieced and stitched by my grandmother and her friends. The pattern, nicely enough, is called Grandmother’s Flower Garden.


    April 28, 2012 at 9:32 AM

    • I really can see those patterns as stylized flowers. I can also see the arithmetic in the number of little hexagons making up each successive “ring” surrounding the center of each flower: 6, 12, 18, 24, ….

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 28, 2012 at 10:08 AM

  5. I always enjoy viewing your beautiful flower shots!

    Michael Glover

    April 28, 2012 at 11:47 AM

  6. […] was Pedernales Falls State Park, a few miles away from where I took the previous picture showing a stork’s bill colony on March 27. Note the stylized red star at the flower’s […]

  7. What a feast for the eyes!!!


    April 29, 2012 at 11:17 AM

  8. I had a look at the larger pic. These are such pretty plants that I don’t think we have here (‘tho I could be wrong, not being a botanist….). Wonderful photography.


    April 30, 2012 at 4:36 AM

    • Thank you. Since the Age of Exploration a lot of species have been carried to remote parts of the world. I can’t say about the two shown here, but the one time I was in Australia, in 2005, I found some lantana—a plant native to my part of the Americas—growing on its own there.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 30, 2012 at 6:33 AM

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