Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

A study in yellow

with 22 comments

Poecilognathus Fly on Maximilian Sunflower by Broomweed 5761

Click for greater clarity.

Here are some harmonious old friends: a tiny fly in the genus Poecilognathus; a Maximilian sunflower, Helianthus maximiliani; a flurry of broomweed flowers, Amphiachyris dracunculoides.

I took this picture on October 9th near the edge of a large property in north Austin where I’ve photographed nature repeatedly during the past decade. Unfortunately for me, construction took over a large part of the site this year, but some areas remain untouched for the time being.

© 2014 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 10, 2014 at 5:30 AM

22 Responses

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  1. Magnifique photo☆


    November 10, 2014 at 5:56 AM

  2. Unfortunate for you and for a lot of critters and plants. There’s just getting to be too many of us…says the guy who is glad he is one of the many.
    The fly, the flower and the multi-flowered background combine for a very nice image, Steve.

    Steve Gingold

    November 10, 2014 at 6:21 AM

    • When it comes to properties where I’ve photographed nature in central Texas since 1999, I’ve seen the greatest loss of any year in 2014, with at least four—and there could be others I’m not yet aware of. At the same time, some of the places I go, as do you, are parks or nature preserves and fortunately for us (and for the places and the animals that live on them), those places will remain free of development.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 10, 2014 at 7:40 AM

      • True. The Quabbin watershed should remain protected through the rest of my time…unless someone decides and is successful at undoing the laws that protect watersheds. Seems unlikely, but the environmental protection laws are always under attack.

        Steve Gingold

        November 10, 2014 at 7:47 AM

  3. Beautiful, Steve. You guys are scaring me with above comments. I know it is true, though.


    November 10, 2014 at 9:29 AM

    • I miss the places where I used to work but can’t any longer because they’ve ceased to exist (at least in a natural form). Still, there are many other places that have hung on and are likely to keep holding on, so we’ll try not to feel fearful.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 10, 2014 at 9:40 AM

      • Yes. A beautiful stand of bur oaks that I’ve admired for years is sporting a new “For Sale” sign. By this time next year the trees will be gone, and I’ll be driving past another thousand beige mcmansions. But that won’t happen to our forest preserves, so much to be thankful for.


        November 11, 2014 at 9:29 AM

  4. Stunning bright yellow, it’s like looking at the sun. Great shot! I will try not to dwell on the areas that are being altered by progress, mostly.


    November 10, 2014 at 10:06 AM

    • Like looking at the sun[flower], but with no danger of eye damage.

      I don’t dwell on the loss natural places, but I do feel it.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 10, 2014 at 4:45 PM

  5. A little touch of late summer right now is just about perfect, loved the bold yellow sunflower.

    Charlie@Seattle Trekker

    November 10, 2014 at 1:37 PM

    • October 9th was definitely still summer in Austin, but the forecast for tomorrow predicts a high of only 57°.

      Let’s hope the photographer continues to be as bold as the sunflower and its acolytes.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 10, 2014 at 4:47 PM

  6. A particularly charming photo with the little winged visitor enjoying some nectar. I always delight in discovering insects in my photos. They don’t necessarily show up when the photo is being taken, but what a joy to find them afterward when I access the pictures on my computer.

    Mary Mageau

    November 10, 2014 at 6:19 PM

  7. What a perfectly aligned pose by the tiny fly.


    November 11, 2014 at 3:44 AM

  8. What a delightful bit of sunshine for a cold, gloomy morning. We’re at 44 degrees with a nice, stiff wind, so I’d much rather dally inside looking at your flowers than be out there with the huddled-up pelicans and seagulls. At least the only flurries today will be your broomweed flowers.


    November 12, 2014 at 9:20 AM

    • Ah yes, how things have changed in the five weeks since this photo. Here in Austin we’ve felt the same cold front come through that you have and the temperature is around 40° now with a good breeze on top of it. That hasn’t kept me from going out once already, and I’ve let the breeze give me some pictures with purposeful motion blur in them. Now it’s back out for more.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 12, 2014 at 10:16 AM

  9. […] Hold your horses, pardner (as people in old American westerns used to say), this really is a post in the Spanish-English Word Connections blog. Recently I noticed that on my other blog, which deals with nature photography, the query подсолнечник Максимилиана (podsolnechnik Maksimiliana) on a search engine had brought someone to a post of mine showing a Maximilian sunflower. […]

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