Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Brown snail on cedar elm

with 18 comments

Click for greater clarity.

On July 20, when I wandered along the east bank of Waller Creek adjacent to Chesterfield Ave. in north-central Austin, I found the asymmetric sunflower that you saw last time. I also found, I’ll add now, not a partridge in a pear tree, but a snail in a cedar elm tree, Ulmus crassifolia. Most of the snails I find on plants are tiny and white, but this one was larger and had tan and brown markings, as you can confirm.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 11, 2012 at 6:06 AM

18 Responses

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  1. Die sieht fantastisch aus!!


    August 11, 2012 at 7:40 AM

  2. There are billions of similar ones surrounding my garden. Lovely, but…..


    August 11, 2012 at 7:44 AM

  3. I’m sure they can be a nuisance but you captured its beauty!

    Bonnie Michelle

    August 11, 2012 at 9:57 AM

    • I found it fascinating indeed. It was all by itself, but if I had to live with an army of them, as it sounds like Bente does in Norway, I might have been less enthusiastic. On the other hand, I’d enjoy a chance to photograph a swarm of these little fellows.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 11, 2012 at 10:14 AM

  4. Fascinating! 🙂


    August 11, 2012 at 10:08 AM

  5. Ah, ever the mathematician – fibonacci in action 🙂


    August 11, 2012 at 2:43 PM

    • You said it. Did you know that since 1963 there has been a magazine called The Fibonacci Quarterly?

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 11, 2012 at 3:17 PM

      • I didn’t know that, Steve! I took a look at it online, far beyond my math training but very interesting.


        August 12, 2012 at 12:39 AM

        • Given that the Fibonacci Quarterly has gotten published for almost half a century, just about everything that appears in it now is way beyond my knowledge, too. One virtue of the Fibonacci sequence itself, though, is that it there are many patterns in it that even a child (or adult!) can discover and understand without needing anything more than the four basic operations of arithmetic: addition, subtraction, multiplication, division. On a piano keyboard, the number of black keys in an octave (3), the number of white keys in an octave (5), and the total number of keys in an octave (8), are consecutive Fibonacci numbers.

          Steve Schwartzman

          August 12, 2012 at 5:19 AM

  6. Lovely, and so very reminiscent of a favorite sundial shell that sits upon my desk. In her book “A Gift From the Sea”, Anne Morrow Lindbergh devotes a chapter to the moon shell, another variety of the inward-leading spiral. I’ve just re-read the chapter, from a book copyrighted in 1955. Its wisdom hasn’t lessened – thanks for reminding me of it with your photo!


    August 11, 2012 at 9:13 PM

    • The term “sundial shell” is new to me, and I’m trying to reconcile it with what I think of as the kind of sundial used for telling time. In both cases there’s a going around, but in one instance it’s as a spiral and in the other it’s not. The mathematician in me is puzzled. Perhaps there’s a kind of sundial that does resemble the shell that I’m not familiar with. Regardless, I’m glad to have today’s picture invoke happy associations.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 11, 2012 at 10:13 PM

  7. An incredible shot, Steve — really sharp and such vivid blues and greens.

    Mufidah Kassalias

    August 15, 2012 at 6:30 AM

    • I was fortunate that this snail was in an accessible place and that I had a clear morning to photograph it. Because parts of the shell were at different distances from the lens, I turned on my flash, even in daylight, so I could stop down for greater depth of field and sharpness.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 15, 2012 at 6:43 AM

  8. That must have been quite a climb! Neat photo!!!


    August 15, 2012 at 12:47 PM

    • It was a pretty young tree, not much taller than I am, but you’re right that for a snail that’s pretty high.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 15, 2012 at 1:37 PM

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