Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Mealy blue sage and cloud

with 17 comments

Click for greater clarity.

About two hours before I took the last post’s picture, with its ominous sky that somehow failed to produce more than a minute of almost imperceptible drizzle, I saw the tamer sky and soft cloud shown in this post’s photograph. The wildflowers are Salvia farinacea, known as mealy blue sage, and on May 31 there were plenty of them on a portion of the Texas Department of Transportation property in north-central Austin. The view from the street of another part of the property had brought me there that morning to photograph a later stage of the large colony of firewheels you saw in the post of May 11, but this time I also wandered a lot farther back and saw (and happily smelled) all the sages.

To avoid including distracting things in the background, I knelt, hunched over so that my head was near the ground, and did my best to aim upward and frame the picture even though I was straining to see clearly through the camera’s viewfinder.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 9, 2012 at 5:49 AM

17 Responses

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  1. I love the sense of movement in this one, with that (beautifully centered) cloud heading in one direction and the flowers bending in another. And there’s that blue/purple business again. I suppose context is everything – if I were looking at these next to Indian paintbrush or gaillardia, I might call them blue, too.


    June 9, 2012 at 6:02 AM

    • I like your analysis of the opposed senses of movement. The cloud was indeed moving, and I had to work fairly quickly or risk having it move so far to the right that I’d no longer be able to have it appear above the sages.

      As for the blue/purple controversy, I’m afraid we’ll always have it among us, like the poor.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 9, 2012 at 6:17 AM

  2. These remind my of the lavender I just planted.. and that cloud.. I’ve been studying it but can’t quite figure out what its shape is. But I noticed it’s perfectly symmetrical, like ink-blot art!

    Just A Smidgen

    June 9, 2012 at 8:40 AM

    • Yes, and this “blue” sage is certainly lavender in color. Maybe you’re on your way to establishing the new field of cloud-blot art.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 9, 2012 at 8:47 AM

    • In a follow-up comment below, Lynda says to tell you that the cloud is an armadillo on its back.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 9, 2012 at 1:35 PM

  3. This is a very atmospheric picture… so balanced and calm. The sky and the sage blue contrast beautifully.


    June 9, 2012 at 9:17 AM

    • I’m glad that you find the result so harmonious, Cathy. Now if I could just be so balanced and calm…

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 9, 2012 at 9:33 AM

  4. I love the smell of sage in the morning.
    ~ L
    PS: Tell Just a Smidgen that the cloud is an armadillo laying on its back. 😉


    June 9, 2012 at 12:07 PM

    • It had been a long time since I found so many of these blue sages in one place, and I’d forgotten how nice they can smell en masse. Happy cloud armadillo to you.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 9, 2012 at 1:36 PM

  5. Me encanta como la nube le da un aire de dramatismo a la foto. Que buena Steve!

    Pablo Buitrago

    June 9, 2012 at 12:55 PM

  6. Love the blue and white against the blue and white!


    June 9, 2012 at 8:32 PM

  7. This is so pretty with the wispy blue flowers reaching toward the puffy white cloud…


    June 10, 2012 at 10:47 PM

    • I was fortunate to be in a good place at a good time, even if it meant putting my head near the ground to see things this way.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 11, 2012 at 2:55 AM

  8. Super view…it’s amazing the positions we find ourselves in to get the shot!!


    June 13, 2012 at 1:35 PM

    • Sometimes we find ourselves in those positions, and sometimes we put ourselves in them. The things we do for pictures.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 13, 2012 at 2:30 PM

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