Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for March 27th, 2014

Do the homeless appreciate wildflowers?

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Blue-Eyed Grass Flowers 3238

The title question wanders a bit off the beaten track for this blog, but then so do the homeless. Let me explain. On opposite sides of Stonelake Blvd. in northwest Austin are two largely wooded properties owned by the University of Texas. Every hundred feet or so a prominent No Trespassing sign makes clear the university’s position, and just as often the glimpse of an improvised path or some human detritus makes it clear that homeless people have been camping in those woods. Last spring I wandered in once to take a look, and although the “residents” were out during the day, the place felt creepy and I didn’t stay longer than I had to to photograph the wildflowers I discovered in a clearing inside the woods. Now you understand the question in this post’s title and you can answer it as you will.

On March 11th of this year I wandered along Stonelake Blvd. because while driving by the day before I’d observed that some small wildflowers were already coming up close to the road—no need to venture into the creepy woods. Today and for the next several days you’ll see a few of the spring beauties I found. To begin with, here’s a portrait of blue-eyed grass (Sisyrinchium spp.) that I was fortunate to notice partly hidden beneath some Ashe juniper trees. The flowers of blue-eyed grass, which isn’t a grass and whose tepals are more violet than blue, typically range from 0.5 to 0.75 inches across (13 to 18 mm), small no matter how you measure them.

© 2014 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 27, 2014 at 6:02 AM

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