Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Can you say svelte? (Alternate title: the return of rain-lilies)

with 29 comments

Rain-Lily Flower with Blue Sky 7041

We had some rain in Austin on September 4th and 7th, so by the 9th a fair number of rain-lilies (Cooperia drummondii) had come out. I photographed this one (and many another) where Perry Lane dead-ends on the west side of Mopac near 45th St.

© 2014 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 17, 2014 at 5:43 AM

29 Responses

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  1. Beauteous! D

    Pairodox Farm

    September 17, 2014 at 5:56 AM

  2. Very sleek and svelte.


    September 17, 2014 at 6:14 AM

    • You can use the initial letters of sleek and svelte to make those of the photographer, who is neither sleek nor svelte but who sometimes slides about to get a picture and occasionally sleuths out the identity of a subject.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 17, 2014 at 7:57 AM

      • Indeed, I like the way you made such a sleek watermark on the svelte flower. The Ladybird Wildflower centre says that the rain lily is an evening lily. Is your sky so blue towards evening?


        September 17, 2014 at 9:00 AM

        • It’s possible they first open in the evening (I don’t know from experience, though there’s no reason to doubt the Wildflower Center), but I took this picture at about 11 in the morning (standard time), and that accounts for the bright blue sky.

          Steve Schwartzman

          September 17, 2014 at 9:45 AM

  3. Beautiful 🙂


    September 17, 2014 at 8:11 AM

  4. Once upon a time, I’d never seen a rain lily. They were everywhere, but invisible to me. Then, I saw many photographs of them, learned about them, and my eyes were opened.

    I was driving across the Kemah-Seabrook bridge into Kemah last week when I looked over to the right and saw one rain lily blooming between the highway and the old railroad tracks. I didn’t quite trust my eyes, so I drove around the corner, parked, and walked over to the tracks. It was a rain lily, and I’d spotted it from about twenty feet away, at twenty-five miles per hour.

    Good old Annie Dillard. She was the one who said it: “The lover can see, and the knowlegeable.”


    September 17, 2014 at 8:32 AM

    • Here in Austin we’ve had several recent rainfalls, and though they haven’t been heavy, they’ve been enough to trigger the flowering of some more rain-lilies just as the ones from the time of today’s picture had largely disappeared. Yesterday afternoon I was driving an elderly friend around on some errands and we passed a property with some newly sprung rain-lilies on it, which I pointed out to her (her eyesight isn’t as good as it used to be). She grew up in the north-central part of the United States and said she never knew rain-lilies till she came to Texas. The same was true for me, too, of course, having grown up in the Northeast, and true as well for a transplant from Iowa. Now that you’ve grown accustomed to them, it’s not surprising that you’d pick one out as you drove past it, even at some distance and some speed.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 17, 2014 at 9:38 AM

  5. It looks so “Happy”!


    September 17, 2014 at 9:02 AM

  6. Stunning. So simplistic but very elegant. 😀

    Raewyn's Photos

    September 17, 2014 at 12:23 PM

    • You might call this minimalist in its composition but much more than minimal in its effect.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 17, 2014 at 1:05 PM

  7. Cool looking flower!


    September 17, 2014 at 4:24 PM

  8. Fine composition. Great photo!


    September 17, 2014 at 4:40 PM

  9. From your chosen angle, I’d have to describe this beauty as majestic.

    Steve Gingold

    September 17, 2014 at 4:52 PM

  10. Were you belly-botanizing for this great shot? There is something magical about rain lilies. I could almost pick up and move there, just for them 🙂


    October 4, 2014 at 12:28 AM

    • Come on down! I just realized that “down” works in both senses. I do spend a lot of time sitting and lying on the ground, no doubt about it, and that’s why I carry a mat with me when I go out photographing in nature.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 4, 2014 at 10:54 PM

      • I never think to bring a mat, so I end up pretty muddy by the time I get home.


        October 5, 2014 at 10:36 AM

        • I’ve trained myself pretty well: I always have a “haz-mat” in my car and I take it with me whenever I wander away from the car to take pictures.

          Steve Schwartzman

          October 5, 2014 at 11:24 AM

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