Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Two kinds of flowers

with 12 comments

Bouteloua curtipendula and Clematis drummondii Flowers 0265

On July 13th I found two plants touching, each with a different kind of flower. The larger (though still not large) flowers are those of the climbing vine Clematis drummondii, while the tiny orange flowers are from Bouteloua curtipendula, a native grass known as sideoats grama that is making its debut here today. Note the even smaller ant on the central vine stalk, which you’re free to brush off or keep as a bonus.

Location: behind an office complex on the east side of Capital of Texas Highway in northwest Austin.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 1, 2013 at 5:53 AM

12 Responses

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  1. This really is a fun photo. Between the Clematis drummondii flowers and the complexity of the sideoats (the flowers almost look braided) that stalk looks like a freeway for the ant. No sidetrips on back stems to see the sights for him!


    August 1, 2013 at 6:43 AM

    • I’m glad you had fun with it. The sideoats grama looks braided to me, too, but I wouldn’t have thought of a freeway for the ant, even though I often see ants running up and down plants (and equally often wonder why they run back and forth that way).

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 1, 2013 at 6:57 AM

  2. I also like the ant. Good thing it didn’t get cropped. Did you see it before you pressed the shutter? Sometimes things are noticed later.

    Jim in IA

    August 1, 2013 at 8:17 AM

    • In this case I seem to remember that I saw the ant. When I do notice ants on a plant, I often try to incorporate one or more into my photographs, although ants usually move pretty fast and can therefore be hard to capture in an image. I could’ve cropped this ant out, but I preferred leaving it in.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 1, 2013 at 11:51 AM

  3. The two plants seem well suited to be intertwined together. And as discussed, I think the ant is a great inclusion to the story.

    Steve Gingold

    August 1, 2013 at 2:06 PM

    • The ant was down near the bottom of the picture, so I added the main paragraph’s last sentence in order to up the ante.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 1, 2013 at 2:17 PM

  4. Ah il y a deux plantes en te lisant je comprends mieux.. je ne connaissais pas cette clématite. Superbe cliché Steve.


    August 1, 2013 at 3:36 PM

  5. Great image……again!

    Pamela Breitberg

    August 2, 2013 at 8:20 PM

  6. A cool find, Steve. I’m often amazed when I see different plant species intertwined like this…it seems so odd yet it happens more frequently than I would have thought. Nice shot!!


    August 3, 2013 at 12:10 PM

    • I’m reminded of the Dolly Parton song “Wildflowers Don’t Care Where They Grow,” and I’ve often noticed how there isn’t much “personal space” in nature. The way things tend to grow all over each other has provided me with many opportunities for photographs of different species together. My collective name for that (and for a would-be book) is Combinations. I’m glad you like this combination of a vine and a grass. (Of course vines by their nature create combinations.)

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 3, 2013 at 12:21 PM

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