Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Prairie fleabane daisy bud opening

with 36 comments

Prairie Fleabane Bud Opening 3281

Another thing that caught my attention on March 11th along Stonelake Blvd. was a group of prairie fleabane daisies, Erigeron modestus. In this close look at an opening bud you get an abstract view that’s minimalist in composition but colorful in tonality.

If you’d like to see the places from Texas to Kansas to Arizona where Erigeron modestus brightens the lives of native-plant cognoscenti, you can check the USDA’s state-clickable map. Travis County (which includes Austin) is along the southeastern fringe of that range, but thankfully within it, and this species is common here.

© 2014 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 28, 2014 at 6:00 AM

36 Responses

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  1. Wildflowers do light up our lives, but the metaphor seems remarkably concrete in this instance. Just as a door cracks open to allow light into a darkened room, this bud seems to have cracked open the darkness, allowing light to flood in.


    March 28, 2014 at 7:18 AM

    • I can summarize your comments by saying that there were extenebrating circumstances (from ex ‘out of’ and tenebrae ‘darkness’). When you speak of wildflowers lighting up our lives, I hear Debby Boone singing.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 28, 2014 at 8:01 AM

  2. I love this. Looks a little bit “alienish” 🙂


    March 28, 2014 at 7:27 AM

  3. Yikes! It looks like a lamprey eel! Do a google image search for “lamprey eel” and look at some of the frontal views. 🙂


    March 28, 2014 at 7:29 AM

    • We’re on similar wavelengths, Wanda. I thought about a shark, but your suggestion of a lamprey eel is more to the point. Here’s a link to a mouth-on picture of one so people can see what you imagined:

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 28, 2014 at 8:10 AM

  4. This image reminds me of a Buddhist saying: “If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole world would change.”


    March 28, 2014 at 8:32 AM

  5. Looks like it’s calling out to be noticed….as in “Hey you…over here.”

    Marcia Levy

    March 28, 2014 at 8:35 AM

  6. Nice depth in that shot. The eel comment above was on target.

    Jim in IA

    March 28, 2014 at 9:15 AM

  7. Nice, I like it a lot!

    Mark Mendonck

    March 28, 2014 at 11:14 AM

  8. Very cool, Steve


    March 28, 2014 at 11:16 AM

  9. An amazing photo!


    March 28, 2014 at 11:24 AM

  10. Fantastic shot, Steven, I love daisies, too


    March 28, 2014 at 11:40 AM

    • Did you know that the word daisy comes from day’s eye?

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 28, 2014 at 11:42 AM

      • No, I didn’t, nice that you told me. I love the English expression “to push up the daisies”. It’s so funny


        March 28, 2014 at 11:44 AM

        • I did a little searching for the expression “to push up daisies,” meaning ‘to die’. In J.E. Lighter’s Historical Dictionary of American Slang, the oldest citation is from 1919, where daisy-pusher is listed as army slang from World War I for ‘a dead person’.

          Steve Schwartzman

          March 28, 2014 at 12:48 PM

  11. Really nice image, interesting approach. I also want to say how much I appreciate being subscribed to this blog! It’s really a treat receiving your beautiful photos regularly, with brief but informative text. Also appreciate you provide both common and Latin botanical names. It’s a joy!

    Gena Fleming

    March 28, 2014 at 1:36 PM

    • And it’s a joy to get a comment as appreciative as yours. This blog is primarily photographic, but my long experience as a teacher (and maybe just my inclination in any case) leads me to give at least some information about what’s in each picture.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 28, 2014 at 2:06 PM

    • By the way, having taken three years of Latin in high school has stood me in good stead with botanical names. In some cases the process has gone the other way, and I’ve learned new Latin words from botanical terms.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 28, 2014 at 2:08 PM

  12. OMG (as the younger generation would say) .. you are a genius. (Again, as the kids would say) You have a totally crazy eye. D

    Pairodox Farm

    March 28, 2014 at 1:43 PM

    • LLA (long live abstraction, as crazy-eyed me would say). Seems like the genie popped out of the bottle for you on this one, and that’s fine with me. (Did you know that genie and genius are historically the same word?)

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 28, 2014 at 2:16 PM

  13. What a stunner!

    The Editors of Garden Variety

    March 28, 2014 at 4:28 PM

  14. I love the mighty little fleabane as much as I love this capture. Stunning.
    I cannot wait for mine to arrive and entice a larger selection of buzzing things to stay on our place for the Summer..

    The Jagged Man

    March 28, 2014 at 9:06 PM

    • I like the way you phrased it: mighty little fleabane. As for the buzzing things enticed by it, they’ve already arrived in Austin, as you’ll see in the morning’s post. Stay tuned here first and then where you are.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 28, 2014 at 10:59 PM

  15. very BIG wow from me.


    March 28, 2014 at 11:43 PM

  16. […] on March 11th along Stonelake Blvd. is an open flower head that had attracted a tiny bee. From the saturated tips of the opening rays that you saw last time, would you have predicted that most of the color would soon disappear? […]

  17. Yay! High drama indeed!!! 😀


    March 30, 2014 at 11:31 PM

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