Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Monochrome marsh fleabane colony

with 17 comments

Marsh Fleabane Colony Dried Out 9901

I found this expansively monochrome colony of marsh fleabane, Pluchea odorata, gone to seed and drying out in the also drying bed of Devine Lake in Leander on November 26th.

Goodbye, 2014. We won’t see you again.

© 2014 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 31, 2014 at 5:00 AM

17 Responses

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  1. You could make a sort of Where’s Waldo out of that picture. Or, a jigsaw puzzle would be so much fun. 😈

    Jim in IA

    December 31, 2014 at 8:16 AM

    • As alliterative as “Where’s Waldo?”, the title of the jigsaw puzzle could be “Place the Pluchea” or “Find the Fleabane.”

      And speaking of so much fun:


      Steve Schwartzman

      December 31, 2014 at 9:49 AM

      • That was something. I’m afraid to dig deeper into that blog.

        Jim in IA

        December 31, 2014 at 10:26 AM

      • I’d say Lake Devine looks divine with that great swath of fleabane marshing across it.

        As for 2014 — t looks like you Austinites will get a chance to see it again, at least in a manner of speaking. I see the celebrations have been postponed. Wouldn’t it be something if the temperatures dropped just a bit more, and you got some snow? It looks like you’ve got a pretty good chance for ice. Who knows what you may find in your yard tomorrow morning?


        December 31, 2014 at 3:22 PM

        • Good for you for taking advantage of the opening I left with Devine. I’d thought about pouncing on it myself, but it’s only fair to let other people take the lead from time to time.

          I saw in the news that Austin’s celebration had been postponed due to the chance of freezing precipitation. If that’s what’s in store, I hope it’ll hold off till after 1 or 2 AM to give revelers time to get safely home—then let there be all the white that nature cares to deliver, and I’ll be ready in the morning with my boots and heavy jacket. After we got a good coating of ice some years ago I walked to Great Hills Park because the road goes downhill for half a mile from here to there and it seemed too treacherous to drive.

          Steve Schwartzman

          December 31, 2014 at 3:50 PM

      • Or find the flea which would be very hard indeed if fleabane was doing its job properly.


        January 1, 2015 at 3:03 AM

  2. Thank you, Steven, for a beautiful, educational year! Looking forward to what you offer in 2015! Kathy Henderson

    kathy henderson

    December 31, 2014 at 8:58 AM

    • You’re welcome, Kathy. I’ve usually found learning to be the most fun of all.

      One thing I’m planning to show soon is some more of the pictures from my September trip to the Southwest.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 31, 2014 at 9:52 AM

  3. I actually find the warm colours and the repetition soothing in this picture but at the same time there’s also a strange allure of a kind of 3D feature about it. It reminds me of those pictures where you are meant to look at them at a certain angle to have hidden images appear. I’m not sure if I’m explaining it properly. But I like it.


    December 31, 2014 at 9:06 PM

    • I know the kind of image you mean, which your eyes can look at and relax and allow something previously hidden to reveal itself. I didn’t have that in mind when I took this picture of the dried-out marsh fleabane colony, and I probably would never have thought about the connection on my own, but now that you’ve brought it up I can understand why today’s landscape reminds you of the hidden 3D sort of image.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 1, 2015 at 1:20 AM

  4. 2014 has gone indeed. Thanks for all your comments on my blog. You were my top commenter!


    January 1, 2015 at 3:04 AM

    • Thanks for your many comments too. Until your recent “vacation” I think you were my top commenter as well. Happy 2015!

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 1, 2015 at 7:28 AM

  5. I’ve seen a few fields with a good colony of fleabanes, but nothing as dense and large as you’ve shared in this photograph.
    And you had me going for a moment there. I thought you might have actually converted an image to black and white. LOL

    Steve Gingold

    January 1, 2015 at 9:36 AM

    • Fleabane, like frostweed, is one of those names that applies to different and often completely unrelated species in different regions, or sometimes even in the same region. The plants in this picture are marsh fleabane, as opposed to fleabane daisies, which are also common in Austin.

      If I had converted from color to monochrome, I would also have had to sepia-tone the image to make it look like what you see here. In this case the marsh fleabane sepia-toned itself, no chemical or digital processes required.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 1, 2015 at 10:08 AM

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