Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Goldenrod when it’s no longer golden

with 10 comments

Goldenrod Turned Fluffy with Fleecy Clouds 8857

How about this tall goldenrod (Solidago altissima) that had gone to seed and turned fluffy, like the clouds above it? Today’s photograph goes back to November 24th along Burleson Rd. in southeast Austin.

© 2014 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 28, 2014 at 5:16 AM

10 Responses

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  1. Perhaps this is the image of goldenrod that gives people the idea that it causes a sneezeapalooza which is, of course, not correct.
    That is a wonderful sky for the background.
    I thought I might have finally coined an original word…not so.

    Steve Gingold

    December 28, 2014 at 5:51 AM

    • With the sky looking so great that afternoon, I knew I had to use it as a backdrop for something, and then I lucked out by finding a stand of tall goldenrod turned fluffy. Even now, five weeks later, I’m still finding goldenrod plants that look like this (though without the great clouds).

      One good thing about the Internet is that we can quickly find out if an “original” word or phrase really is original. Usually that turns out not to be the case, as I’ve found with most of my creations and as you found with sneezapalooza. Your word is a good one for describing the bouts I go through from ragweed in the fall and Ashe juniper in the winter. The locals call the affliction cedar fever (the junipers having been mistaken for cedars), which began to affect people last week.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 28, 2014 at 6:33 AM

  2. I have a great appreciation for the persistence of plants even after their time is up. This perspective makes it look so grand, and so tall. Great job capturing the beautiful blue sky as well. (I can just feel its crunchiness. ;))


    December 28, 2014 at 1:57 PM

    • If I remember aright, at this stage the seed heads are a combination of crisp and soft. The dry leaves below, on the other hand, are crisp only.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 28, 2014 at 3:27 PM

  3. I was digging around in your archives this morning, looking for century plants, and had to laugh when I saw this goldenrod photo. You had a very similar sky when you photographed a beautiful red yucca three years ago.

    Speaking of seed heads, I found the most fantastic Christmas “tree” at the Espiritu Santo mission in Goliad. How they managed to keep an entire century plant stalk intact through cutting,hauling, and decorating, I don’t know, but it was breathtaking. It was so tall I had a hard time getting a good photo of the entire thing, but here’s the top. I’ll mess with the other photos and post one of the entire stalk when I write about my serendipitous journey from San Antonio to Port O’Connor.


    December 29, 2014 at 9:20 AM

    • I love skies with fleecy clouds like the ones above and in the picture you linked to. I’ve often used them as backgrounds for plants that are dead, in which case there may be harmony, as here; and for plants that are alive, in which case there’s likely to be contrast.

      I didn’t know about the century plant used as a Christmas tree in Goliad (I’m looking forward to your post about it), but I’ve been aware for some time that in tropical climates people have used various warm-weather plants in lieu of a traditional Christmas tree.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 29, 2014 at 4:12 PM

  4. The seedhead looks spectacular against the sky here. Wow!


    January 18, 2015 at 10:41 AM

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