Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Verdant creek surface

with 14 comments

Sycamore Leaf in Creek with Algae 1167

Click for greater clarity and size.

On February 15th I spent some time walking along a creek that runs through the hills in the far northwest part of Austin. Perhaps brought out by the warming temperatures that week, patches of the algae floating on the surface of the creek were such a bright green that they seemed unnatural, though I know there’s a contradiction in calling anything in nature unnatural. The browning leaf and bits of decomposing seed balls were from nearby sycamore trees, Platanus occidentalis.

© 2014 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 8, 2014 at 6:01 AM

14 Responses

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  1. One of my favorites of yours along with the algae and bubbles, Steve.

    Steve Gingold

    March 8, 2014 at 6:11 AM

    • As a nature photographer I find algae an excellent subject, but an ephemeral one. I often check them out when conditions are right for them to exist

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 8, 2014 at 7:33 AM

  2. Lovely depiction of nature’s majesty.


    March 8, 2014 at 6:13 AM

    • You’ve reminded me of the phrase “for purple mountain majesties” in the song “America the Beautiful.” I looked it up at


      and found that the song combines words from 1895 about Pikes Peak with music from 1882 that originally accompanied a hymn about Jerusalem. I guess that’s no stranger a mixture than what appears in today’s photograph.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 8, 2014 at 7:43 AM

  3. Wonderful…wonderful shot! Most people would ignore it but you made it so artistic! Inspiring!


    March 8, 2014 at 6:54 AM

    • Thanks for your enthusiasm, Inge. This is a subject that fascinates me and that I return to every so often.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 8, 2014 at 7:48 AM

  4. Beautiful


    March 8, 2014 at 10:32 AM

  5. marvellous!


    March 8, 2014 at 12:51 PM

  6. In an Austin winter, verdure perdures.


    March 8, 2014 at 8:07 PM

    • It’s hard for foreigners learning English (and some native speakers too) to deal with sets of words that are similarly spelled but differently pronounced. For example, why is there stress on the first syllable and a j sound in verdure but stress on the second syllable and no j sound in perdure?

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 8, 2014 at 10:27 PM

  7. bubbles 🙂


    March 8, 2014 at 9:24 PM

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