Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Greenthreads implied

with 12 comments

Old Plainsman Flowering by Greenthread Colony 1193

Click for greater clarity and size.

Once again the scene is a piece of the Blackland Prairie at Grand Avenue Parkway and Picadilly Drive in Pflugerville on April 28. This time you can get a better feel for the vastness of the greenthread colony, Thelesperma filifolium, even though its thousands of flowers served here only as a background.

You’ve also recently seen the kind of wildflowers in the foreground: old plainsman, Hymenopappus scabiosaeus, a species that has been having the best year I’ve ever seen in central Texas.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 2, 2013 at 6:19 AM

12 Responses

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  1. This ia a wow photo. The green thread is a site for sore eyes. Absolutely a carpet of yelllow. So pretty.


    May 2, 2013 at 6:26 AM

    • Thanks for your wow. I first saw that carpet the day before when I purposely took a roundabout way back from having my car serviced so I could scout the prairie. I made it a point to return the next day with my camera equipment. This was the biggest colony of greenthread I think I’ve ever seen.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 2, 2013 at 7:51 AM

  2. Love the white with the yellow in the background – Beautiful:)


    May 2, 2013 at 12:33 PM

    • I’ve been fond of the yellow/white combination for a long time, on houses as well as in nature, though it’s only the latter that you’ll see in this blog.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 2, 2013 at 12:55 PM

  3. A lovely vision in silver and gold! I like the precise delicacy of the foreground blooms against the blurred gold of the greenthreads.


    May 2, 2013 at 1:05 PM

    • And I like your analysis, Lynn. It reminds me of the old ditty:

      Make new friends and keep the old;
      One is silver, the other gold.

      I’ll confirm that old plainsman and greenthread are both my friends, and that I got to know greenthread before old plainsman (though not that much before).

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 2, 2013 at 2:31 PM

      • And “silver threads among the gold” referring to loving someone into old age. Also, the fairy tale of the 12 Dancing Princesses, who move through a forest of gold, a forest of silver, and a forest of glass. I once did a Christmas decor of silver and gold in tribute to that fairy tale; I still love the idea of that combination, so this photo really spoke to me!


        May 4, 2013 at 8:05 PM

        • Great, I’m glad this photograph and ensuing comments called up so many happy associations with silver and gold for you.

          Steve Schwartzman

          May 4, 2013 at 11:10 PM

  4. A covey of quail. A gaggle of geese. An exaltation of larks. An implication of greenthreads. Makes sense to me! (And now we have a game… collective nouns for wildflowers. A ringing of bluebells? A tribe of paintbrush? A torrent of rain-lilies? What fun!)


    May 3, 2013 at 10:13 PM

    • You raise a good question: why do those collective nouns exist for animals but not for plants? You’re off to a good start, so feel free to keep having at it.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 3, 2013 at 10:27 PM

  5. Sometimes subtext *makes* the story–even visual subtext!


    May 4, 2013 at 5:14 PM

    • Ooh, visual subtext: I see that the phrase is in use, but it’s another new one for me—the phrase, but not the thing itself.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 4, 2013 at 11:14 PM

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