What would a Texas spring be if I didn’t show you a Texas thistle?
Here’s the bud of a Texas thistle, Cirsium texanum, that was just beginning to open on the Blackland Prairie in Pflugerville* on the morning of May 13. You see the clear blue of the sky, but you don’t see the adjacent building where I’d gone to renew my driver’s license. I’m pretty sure I’m the only person there who came away from the place with more photos taken than the one required for the license, and I’m pretty sure that not many of the people getting or renewing a license would have been willing to lie down with plants on the prairie for the sake of a picture.
This view reminds me of the cover of a science fiction book I read when I was a teenager, The Big Eye, by Max Ehrlich, originally published in 1949. In searching the Internet now, I see that various editions of the novel had different covers, each with a prominent eye in the sky, but the one I remember is the one shown in Goodreads.
* Ironically, at least for a nature photography blog in a region where almost all of the native prairie was soon destroyed after Anglo settlers arrived in the 1800s, the German word Pfluger means ‘plowman.’
© 2013 Steven Schwartzman