Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Contrasting huisaches

with 8 comments

Denseley Flowering Huisache by Tall Old Huisache 0681

Click for greater clarity.

On my way home from McKinney Falls State Park on March 1st I spied some huisache trees in the woods to the east of US 183. I took the first right turn, then another, and followed a narrow road that curved and led me to a descending jeep trail just passable, at slow speed, for my car. I was glad I ventured down because I found the striking contrast in huisaches shown here. In the foreground you see part of a relatively low and densely flowering tree. Beyond it was the tallest huisache I’ve ever seen. Trees of Central Texas (written by a man named Vines!) says that Acacia farnesiana can reach 30 feet, but I think the one here was a good deal taller. All the lower portions of that venerable tree looked dark and dead, without a single leaf or shoot anywhere, nor any flower, but the crown was thoroughly alive and spread majestically into new branches and leaves and blossoms.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 18, 2013 at 6:15 AM

8 Responses

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  1. Ah, yellow against blue skies, who can resist? A wonderful lift for the spirit – we are still in the snow and sleet phase of spring.


    March 18, 2013 at 5:52 PM

    • Like you, I was taken with the yellow against the blue. It’s not an unusual sight here, but I can understand that you’re still in the land of late winter, so I’m happy to have this cheer you along toward spring.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 18, 2013 at 8:14 PM

  2. Very pretty!


    March 18, 2013 at 9:02 PM

  3. Glorious photo. I’ve never seen huisache so tall – or so pleasingly arranged.

    Just yesterday I noticed the huisache along my way to work finally are putting on their blooms. I think I’ve figured out why we’re so far behind your area, too. I always have tended to think “north=cooler, south=warmer”, and it made our “lag” confusing to me. What I wasn’t taking into account is our water. It moderates temperatures in both directions. In the winter, we can be ten degrees or more warmer than Houston, and in summer, we’re often more than ten degrees cooler.

    In short, I think the influence of the water has kept things cooler down here than in the interior of the state, despite our more southerly location. Hence: our blooms show up later than yours. That’s my theory for the day, anyhow!


    March 19, 2013 at 6:55 AM

    • Your hypothesis is reasonable, and large bodies of water certainly affect climate in many places. Even in the same location, though, over the last thirteen years I’ve noticed as much as a two-month difference in the time when the first huisaches flower. Maybe they’re just capricious trees. In any case, the ones around town in Austin are all still flowering, and I haven’t seen any that are starting to fade yet. In fact I photographed another one yesterday.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 19, 2013 at 7:36 AM

  4. Spring allergies cometh….

    Mary Strong-Spaid

    March 19, 2013 at 12:40 PM

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