Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Death by water and time

with 7 comments

Click for greater size and clarity.

Here you see a slew of stalks turned white in death, but what were they in life? Given the advanced stage of deterioration, I wouldn’t normally know, but I’ve visited this pond in northwest Austin several times in the last few years. In 2011, when the great drought held sway and lots of the water evaporated, colonies of Sesbania herbacea, the same plant you saw in the last post, sprang up on the newly exposed margins of the pond. When the rains eventually returned toward the end of 2011 and the water level went back up, the Sesbania colony was flooded and died. (Although these plants are tall, they’re annuals, so the water can’t have advanced their death by much.) Here you see the remains of the Sesbania in white. The yellow in the upper left is from some changing leaves of a black willow tree, Salix nigra.

For those of you who requested more landscapes after you saw the one of the cliffs along Bull Creek, this is another, which I took on November 5. Even yesterday’s picture could have counted as a semi-landscape, if there is such a thing. (After writing that sentence I wondered if anyone else had used the term semi-landscape, so I did a search and found that other people have indeed used it. Nihil sub sole novum, and all that.)

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman


Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 15, 2012 at 6:16 AM

7 Responses

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  1. Beautiful reflections in the water.


    November 15, 2012 at 10:08 AM

  2. Nice complex picture that can look at for a long time.


    November 15, 2012 at 2:59 PM

  3. I love free and unfettered nature, but… I can’t quite rid myself of the impulse to get in there and clean up that pond! If I did I’m sure some bird, frog or bug would be completely discombobulated, so I’ll let it be. Funny to see life-giving water bringing death.


    November 15, 2012 at 10:06 PM

    • I welcomed the clutter in this busy, chaotic, but (or therefore!) to me appealing view.

      Speaking of water bringing death, I’m reminded of Rockaway in southeastern New York City, a place where I spent lots of time by the seashore as a child, a place of destruction after the recent late-season hurricane.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 16, 2012 at 3:12 AM

  4. […] I’ve presented in the past six weeks, the other two being cliffs along Bull Creek and a pond with ghostly Sesbania stalks in it. Today’s view leaves out any water, which is appropriate because Austin hasn’t had more […]

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