Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

The punctuation of antelope-horns with wispy clouds

with 17 comments

Click for greater clarity.

In this view it’s not the antelope-horns milkweed, Asclepias asperula, that’s wispy, but the clouds. Seeing that we had a sky like that on the afternoon of April 12, 2011, I went over to Loop 360 at the south end of my Great Hills neighborhood and followed a path that took me up onto a cliff overlooking the busy highway—the adjacent intersecting street is even named Bluffstone—but I wasn’t interested in the cars below. At one point I got down on the ground and looked upward at perhaps 45° in such a way that wisps of cloud framed this globe of milkweed flowers between an opening angle bracket and a closing parenthesis.

(And speaking of parentheses, a pair of which this last little paragraph is conveniently nestled inside of, how could I not be reminded of a certain poem by e.e. cummings? I’d say more about punctuation, but you already get the point.)

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 28, 2012 at 5:43 AM

17 Responses

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  1. How clever to frame the flower and plant in an outline of wispy cloud. Very nice shot, Steve.


    May 28, 2012 at 6:41 AM

    • Thank you. The wonderful clouds that afternoon begged to be used as a backdrop and I couldn’t refuse them.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 28, 2012 at 6:52 AM

  2. Fabulous photo!


    May 28, 2012 at 6:55 AM

    • Thanks, Cathy. The sky in Austin this morning is hardly so pretty: it’s a dull grey, although the forecast is for some sunshine by afternoon.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 28, 2012 at 7:15 AM

  3. Reaching to hug the sky, and the sky hugs back.

    Spider Joe

    May 28, 2012 at 7:28 AM

    • That’s an imaginative way to put it, Spider Joe. At the same time, I remember that I had to be one ground-hugging photographer to get low enough to look up and make the picture.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 28, 2012 at 7:42 AM

  4. Wow, really nice and could easily be “Homage to Antelope horn Milkweed” The clouds are perfect.


    May 28, 2012 at 12:44 PM

    • I’m glad you find this a homage to a native plant. I feel that way about many of my pictures.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 28, 2012 at 2:52 PM

  5. Great photo!


    May 29, 2012 at 10:54 PM

    • It’s been over a year, but I clearly remember that encounter with the milkweed atop the cliff.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 30, 2012 at 7:19 AM

  6. I looked and looked at this photo, and then wandered off to read the poem and forgot to tell you how much I liked both. I’d forgotten that poem – thanks for including it.

    The setting for the milkweek is perfect – although I can’t keep from seeing an angelfish in the clouds.


    May 30, 2012 at 6:57 AM

    • You’re welcome and you’re welcome. I hadn’t read the poem for decades, but the punctuation of the clouds quickly reminded me and I went in search of it. Clouds probably remind a lot more people of angels than of punctuation, but I saw neither angels nor angelfish. (However, in the realm of animals I have recently seen a question mark butterfly.)

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 30, 2012 at 7:24 AM

  7. Wow, the flower is beautifully framed! Genius.

    Finn Holding

    June 2, 2012 at 9:09 AM

  8. Great spotting on those clouds, a perfect, ethereal frame for the antelope-horns milkweed.

    Susan Scheid

    June 3, 2012 at 7:46 AM

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