Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Fluff amounting to something

with 10 comments

Click for greater size and clarity.

On September 10, as I was driving east on Brushy Creek Rd. in Cedar Park, I saw something that caused me to turn around, go back to Brushy Creek Lake Park, and take a short hike: it was Clematis drummondii in all its fluffy glory. At the eastern end of the park there’s a popular biking/jogging/walking trail that goes across the earthen dam that created the lake, and on one side of that trail a barbed wire fence separates the public land from the private. It was along that divide for a distance of a couple of hundred feet that I saw mounds of Clematis drummondii festooning the fence in various shades of gray and tan and in various densities, at times obscuring it entirely. You can’t make out any details of the fence in this picture, but you can clearly infer it behind the dense and upright Clematis. Such is the power of one “old man’s beard” to conceal, and of a camera held close to another to reveal.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 28, 2012 at 6:06 AM

10 Responses

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  1. Good eye for catching this one Steve. I’m surprised you didn’t lay down for a little nap – it looks kind of comfy :).


    September 28, 2012 at 6:10 AM

    • Ah, but looks can be deceiving. In spite of the soft topping, there was plenty of rough irregularity beneath the surface, so I don’t know how comfortable I would have been.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 28, 2012 at 6:55 AM

  2. Que ça a l’air douillet 😉


    September 28, 2012 at 6:57 AM

    • L’air douillet, oui, mais c’était surtout la surface. Dessous il y avait un dénivelé et des pierres.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 28, 2012 at 7:13 AM

  3. In our on-going game of “Nature’s Analogies”, your Clematis drummondii reminds me of the piles of spume that can be whipped up in the ocean now and then.


    September 28, 2012 at 8:18 AM

    • I hadn’t heard about those suds, but I can certainly see why the Clematis reminded you of them. Let’s hear it for analogies.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 28, 2012 at 12:34 PM

  4. […] or animals develop a similar feature. Without having to go outside central Texas, I can point to Clematis drummondii and Asclepias asperula as examples from the buttercup family and the milkweed family, […]

  5. This exists in Colorado, too!


    February 9, 2018 at 8:06 PM

    • I didn’t realize it ranges that far north. I didn’t see any when I was in Colorado last summer. I’m glad we share it. It’s the most common of the three Clematis species in Austin, with two stands of it right in my neighborhood.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 9, 2018 at 8:27 PM

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