Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

The lot along US 183: a fifth look back

with 18 comments

Ant on Sunflower Plant 2843A

For the last few days I’ve been showing pictures taken at a now-razed property on the east side of US 183 adjacent to the Wendy’s and Costco in my northwest Austin neighborhood. Here’s yet another photograph from yesteryear, or more specifically June 22, 2011. This ant had a better fate—at least up to the time of the photograph, and I can’t vouch for afterwards—than two that I found entombed in resin on this property a few weeks later, on July 17 of 2011. The common sunflower, Helianthus annuus, is one hairy plant, as this picture confirms and as you probably knew already.

This will be the last picture in the retrospective, just as sunflowers were the last holdout on the construction site.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 28, 2013 at 6:16 AM

18 Responses

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  1. I’ve always wanted to try to get sunflowers in the flower bed. They’re not so common in my yard. I think wildflowers are Nature’s surprise. My narcissus, amaryllis and such do fine, but when I throw out wildflower seeds, they just don’t take hold. They are not to be cultivated but just spring up to surprise us.


    January 28, 2013 at 6:28 AM

    • I’m no gardener, but I know plenty of people in the Native Plant Society of Texas who grow wildflowers on their properties. You might check with members of the NPSOT chapter nearest to you to get some advice on what to do to make wildflowers happy in your garden. Those people are only too happy to help promote the cause.

      I like your description of wildflowers as “Nature’s surprise.” I never stop being surprised by things that I find out there.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 28, 2013 at 6:50 AM

  2. Your photos are beautiful. It looks like you have several interests. Thanks for visiting my site and leaving a comment. Feel free to come back any time. 🙂


    January 28, 2013 at 8:38 AM

    • Thanks. I do indeed have several interests, two of which (language, photography) are represented by blogs. Thanks for the return invitation to your site.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 28, 2013 at 9:35 AM

  3. Absolutely amazing photograph!


    January 28, 2013 at 8:57 AM

  4. Intersting post. And, a very nice macro.


    January 28, 2013 at 3:15 PM

    • I’ll always remember my visits to that location. The place is gone, but at least I have photographs to show for my time spent there.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 28, 2013 at 3:24 PM

  5. i SO do not need any more blogs to read, but i stopped back today and just love your photography. so i’ve added you to my extensive reading list. *sigh* 🙂


    January 28, 2013 at 4:12 PM

  6. A shiny specimen navigated the sunflower’s spines.
    Both are no more.


    January 28, 2013 at 4:40 PM

  7. So beautiful to see those hairs close up. As a gardener – in a former (sort of) incarnation – I can remember exactly how a sunflower feels to the touch.


    January 30, 2013 at 5:29 AM

    • It is gratifying to see (and remember the feel of) those hairs; I wonder what purpose they serve for the plant.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 30, 2013 at 7:20 AM

  8. Those little hairs are called “capitate glandular hairs” and the Helianthus annuus uses them to store sesquiterpene lactones – which just happen to be a substance that causes irritation and sneezies if someone bothers the plant! A partial list of plants that have them includes a few familiar to your blog readers! (I love mornings when it’s too cold/wet/windy to work!)


    January 30, 2013 at 10:47 AM

    • You have profited from your too-X-to-work morning: you’ve earned a gold star for your research. Now I know what to blame for the irritation that I’ve felt from handling sunflowers and some of the other species in that list (including poverty weed), alas. As for the sneezies, I get that from just about everything that’s out there, alas again.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 30, 2013 at 11:03 AM

  9. […] the stores in a shopping center, and a construction site that happens to be on the property where I’ve often mentioned having taken pictures while I still could. So here’s an unexpected and literal fringe benefit from that […]

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