Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Lindheimer’s senna leaflets

with 19 comments

Lindheimer's Senna Leaflets with Drops on Them 6200

In a comment a few days ago about some dry pods of Lindheimer’s senna, Senna lindheimeriana, Yvonne Daniel asked if I could post a picture showing what this kind of plant looks like “in the real.” I searched my archives and came across this previously unprocessed* picture taken on December 18, 2008, in Great Hills Park. As I recall, there had been some light rain overnight or that morning, and I found a senna plant looking the way you see it here. The leaflets of this species are covered with little hairs that make raindrops and dewdrops less likely to fall off than they would otherwise be. Soft, fuzzy, raindrop-retaining, and therefore attractive as those leaflets are, they have a somewhat unpleasant smell. Oh well, you can’t have it all. One thing you can have, though, is an article about Lindheimer that appeared last month in the Austin American-Statesman.


* Since around 2006 I’ve taken all my pictures in what’s called RAW format, which is the digital equivalent of a negative in film photography. Each RAW file has to be processed in a computer program (e.g. Photoshop) and converted to a format like .tif or .jpg before it can be posted to a website.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 7, 2013 at 6:17 AM

19 Responses

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  1. This is a beautiful photo, Steve. I confess to carrying a spray bottle of water when there is no dew on the subject. I also shoot in RAW and now process in Lightroom 4.


    February 7, 2013 at 7:23 AM

    • Thanks, Ken. For me RAW is the only way to go, given all the subtlety that can be drawn out of an image. I’ve never used Lightroom, but of course it shares a lot of algorithms with Adobe Camera Raw and Photoshop, which I do use. I’ve heard of instant dew from a spray bottle but have never tried that; one advantage is that everything around you except your subject stays comfortably dry.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 7, 2013 at 7:34 AM

  2. The combination of the fuzziness and the larger droplets almost gives this the appearance of a succulent – a little plumped up. It’s just a delightful photo – one of those that makes me want to reach out and touch it.

    Thanks, too, for that very clear explanation of RAW format. I’ve not tried very hard to figure it out, but I have tried, and still didn’t quite “get it”. Now I do – at least well enough for my purposes.


    February 7, 2013 at 8:02 AM

    • Lindheimer’s senna feels velvety if you touch it, which I’ve often done. It’s quite a pleasant sensation if you downplay the odor.

      I hadn’t thought about it, but I can see that the leaflets do look like they’re from a succulent. In real life they’re fairly flat, but the hairs seem to give them some extra “body.”

      My general advice is that even people who aren’t currently shooting in RAW format should set their cameras to RAW + JPEG, something that most recent models allow. That way there’ll be RAW versions of each picture to go back to whenever or if ever someone is ready to deal with them, and the usual JPEGs to have in the meantime.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 7, 2013 at 9:11 AM

      • I got into shooting raw by a conversation I was having with a guy that’s into bird watching and he photographs raw. I always photographed JPG and he explained it to me and after that all my images are RAW!


        February 7, 2013 at 9:20 AM

  3. Great image. I love the texture of this leaf!!


    February 7, 2013 at 9:17 AM

  4. very pretty dewy shot.


    February 7, 2013 at 10:21 AM

  5. Very nice branch-picture.


    February 7, 2013 at 12:11 PM

  6. Steve, thank you for finding a pic. This one is lovely too. Really a pretty capture. The rain or the dew makes the plant attractive.


    February 7, 2013 at 3:19 PM

  7. […] that you’ve seen some dry pods and some leaflets of Lindheimer’s senna, Senna lindheimeriana, I suppose it’s only fair to show you what […]

  8. I want you to know that, while I hit “like” sporadically over here, it could apply to every post. Right now, though it was beautiful (so long as inside out of the frigid wind) here today, I savored coming over and seeing this.

    Susan Scheid

    February 9, 2013 at 6:42 PM

    • And a happy savoring to you, Susan. Some of the pictures I post are better than others, so go ahead and like the ones that grab you, that fit your mood at a given time, that warm you up, etc. I appreciate your visits.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 9, 2013 at 8:35 PM

  9. Lovely shot – water bottle or NO water bottle!

    Tina Schell

    February 11, 2013 at 4:19 PM

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