Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Coral honeysuckle bud

with 33 comments

Coral Honeysuckle Buds 5775

Click for greater clarity and noticeably larger size.

On December 4, 2013, when I spent a damp and overcast hour or two at the Arbor Walk pond in north-central Austin, I was surprised to find coral honeysuckle, Lonicera sempervirens, budding and flowering on the same side of the pond where I’d found it before but on the opposite side of the year from its norm. Oh well, as botanists have been known to quip, wildflowers don’t read field guides. And as with almost every plant out there in nature, notice the faint spiderwebs on this honeysuckle.

If you’re interested in photography as a craft, you’ll find that points 1, 2, 5 and 6 in About My Techniques are relevant to this photograph.

© 2014 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 10, 2014 at 6:03 AM

33 Responses

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  1. I especially like the drops of water, which are like tiny crystal globes.

    Mike Powell

    January 10, 2014 at 6:08 AM

    • Because the morning was misty I’d started out in quest of nature in the fog. I didn’t find that, but I did find the droplets that had settled on this honeysuckle bud.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 10, 2014 at 6:59 AM

  2. Beautiful!


    January 10, 2014 at 6:10 AM

  3. Reblogged this on Container Crazy Cathy T and commented:
    A great way to start the 2014 New Year is to share a beautiful honeysuckle bud photo by Steven Schwartzman of “Portraits of Wildflowers.” He lists some tips too on how to capture photos of nature. Check it out! Cathy Testa

    Cathy Testa

    January 10, 2014 at 6:36 AM

    • I’m glad you find the photo techniques helpful, Cathy. I mention them from time to time, primarily for the benefit of people who’ve recently come here, but I try not to overdo it.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 10, 2014 at 7:08 AM

  4. Oooh, I really love this one!! It looks like the water drops are having a dance party :).


    January 10, 2014 at 6:47 AM

    • Since you bring up dance parties, for a picture like the one at


      I’d be tempted to quote the line “Well come on baby, let’s do the twist” (and I even have a photograph I took of Eve with Chubby Checker years ago), but I never thought about movement in connection with this honeysuckle picture. It’s fair to say the flame-red of this native honeysuckle ignited your imagination.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 10, 2014 at 7:13 AM

      • It certainly did :). And I love Chubby Checker’s The Twist – now I will be singing it all night, which is not a bad thing of course.


        January 10, 2014 at 8:37 PM

  5. Lipstick!


    January 10, 2014 at 7:12 AM

    • Out of my domain, Lynda, but clearly in yours.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 10, 2014 at 7:15 AM

      • Not my color, but that was the first thought I had when I saw your lovely photograph. It is such an intense color! 😉


        January 10, 2014 at 7:16 AM

        • Maybe that intensity will entice you to try out a different color, at least under the right circumstances.

          Steve Schwartzman

          January 10, 2014 at 7:57 AM

  6. Do you have capabilities to zoom way in? Would love to see maybe 10x quality framed zooms of 1) some droplets atop part of the big petal–15 to 30% in, 2) the hub–hmm, I see that one “socket” is petal-less, 3) spider filament appearing to intersect with a water globule, etc.


    January 10, 2014 at 7:41 AM

    • Because of the overcast skies the light was low that morning. Without using flash, which would’ve been harsh, the best I could do, even at ISO 1600, was f/5.6, so I struggled with depth of field. I’m not sure I could’ve gotten much closer anyhow, but even if I could have, too many things would’ve gone out of focus. With that in mind, I kept a certain distance from my subject.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 10, 2014 at 7:56 AM

  7. Great pic! Great comments about globes & lipstick!


    January 10, 2014 at 7:43 AM

    • Thanks, Wanda. I never know where comments—and people’s imaginations—will lead, but I welcome the forays far afield.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 10, 2014 at 8:07 AM

  8. Always love water droplets, the closer we get the more is revealed.

    Bonnie Michelle

    January 10, 2014 at 8:02 AM

  9. I’m especially taken with the way the vibrant color of the bud is echoed in the veins and edges of the leaves. The plant has quite a reputation as a hummingbird magnet – with that color, I can understand why.


    January 10, 2014 at 8:14 AM

    • I’ll add that it’s a photographer magnet, too, at least for this photographer. Only occasionally do I come across it, so I always take pictures when I do. You make a keen observation about the “echo” of the vibrant red in the veins and edges of the leaves.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 10, 2014 at 8:59 AM

  10. I like this one very much. The droplets add a little ‘something’ too. D

    Pairodox Farm

    January 10, 2014 at 8:19 AM

  11. Those tiny water droplets are a killer!! Beautiful!


    January 10, 2014 at 9:09 AM

    • Agreed: the water droplets made this view special. I’m glad I was there at the right time.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 10, 2014 at 9:55 AM

  12. Very delicate balance by those tiny droplets. The flower reminds me of a drooping propellor. Something Salvador Dali could have done.

    Jim in IA

    January 10, 2014 at 11:24 AM

    • I spent an enjoyable hour at the Salvador Dalí Museum in Figueres in 1985, and two decades earlier I’d enjoyed some of his works at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 10, 2014 at 11:52 AM

  13. incredible beauty.


    January 10, 2014 at 9:43 PM

  14. […] the previous post left you wondering what kind of flower emerges from the long bud of a coral honeysuckle, Lonicera sempervirens, here’s the […]

  15. Great shot Steve! Perfect crop for this!

    Michael Glover

    January 17, 2014 at 4:11 PM

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