Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Doeskin Ranch

with 15 comments

Click for greater clarity and considerably larger size.

It’s winter in Austin now, although you who live up north would have a hard time recognizing our milder weather as winter (the high temperature the last two days was in the 60s, for example). That said, even here there are fewer wildflowers now than at any other time of year, so, as you’ve already seen with the recently posted picture of a four-nerve daisy, I thought I’d take advantage of this slack season to show a few more of the many photographs I took last year that I didn’t manage to squeeze in sooner.

On August 31st of 2012 I spent some time wandering at the Doeskin Ranch, a nature preserve in Burnet County about an hour northwest of Austin. Although we had a normal amount of rain in central Texas last year, the pond at the former ranch had lost some of its water, and that drop in the water level exposed a ring of Chara algae around the pond. Green is the normal color of the algae, while white indicates that it has dried out.

If you’d like a straight-down and much closer look at some of this algae, I invite you to click the icon below. You’ll find that the stuff looks like noodles, but I don’t know if those would-be noodles are edible or palatable.

Click for greater size and clarity.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 12, 2013 at 6:14 AM

15 Responses

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  1. It’s a beautiful lake !


    January 12, 2013 at 6:19 AM

  2. Steve – you might be interested in posting for this as you’ve got so many great shots:


    It comes courtesy of Chris over at:




    January 12, 2013 at 11:01 AM

    • Thanks for the links, Nancy. I see that the call for entries was made on December 26, which is more than two weeks ago. I wonder whether it isn’t too late now. I’ll try to find out.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 12, 2013 at 11:56 AM

  3. Hi,
    The pond looks lovely and going by the moss it seemed the water level has dropped a bit, but it still looks fresh and the reflections in the water are fantastic.


    January 12, 2013 at 1:26 PM

    • The reflections got me, too, and I photographed them in various ways, in compositions both horizontal (as here) and vertical.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 12, 2013 at 1:56 PM

  4. I like this post since learning of Doeskin Ranch near Lampasas. The noodle algae is quite interesting. You’ll have to list all of the nature preserves in Central Texas. That would be interesting with a pic or so with each one.


    January 12, 2013 at 1:31 PM

    • Since I began these posts in 2011 I’ve incidentally mentioned (and showed pictures from) some of the nature preserves in central Texas, but I’m afraid listing all of them would be too time-consuming a task.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 12, 2013 at 2:00 PM

      • Oh, had not idea there were that many, It is good to know there are so many around. Thanks for reply. Your pics are enough for my old eyes any day.


        January 12, 2013 at 3:05 PM

  5. Beautiful indeed. It would be even more beautiful if we could get past this Texas drought and all lakes be full again. Nice shot.

    Jerry Stolarski

    January 14, 2013 at 8:19 PM

    • I heard a pessimistic forecast for 2013 in central Texas. Let’s hope the reality is better than the forecast.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 14, 2013 at 10:18 PM

  6. […] ever to appear here. As a bonus you get another look at the Chara algae that was drying out at the edge of the water on that summer […]

  7. […] ago when I took part in a field trip that he led there; he was also the person who identified the chara algae for […]

  8. Amazing how closely your lake tree reflection resembles sea fan coral. And I’ve never seen anything like that algae. It does look remarkably like ramen noodles – but I don’t think I’d try a bowlful without a lot more information!


    January 18, 2013 at 8:21 AM

    • That is a good likeness to the sea fan coral, and not one I would ever have thought about. Thanks for pointing it out. I did a bit of searching for whether people can eat chara algae, but I didn’t find a statement one way or the other about it.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 18, 2013 at 9:05 AM

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