Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Ice and flowers minutes apart

with 6 comments

Goldeneye Flower Head by Flameleaf Sumac 2512

After I spent 75 minutes on January 5th taking pictures of frostweed ice in Great Hills Park, I went a few blocks away to Morado Circle and photographed some of the flower heads on a goldeneye bush, Viguiera dentata. The overnight dip below freezing didn’t seem to have hurt the flowers at all, but continuing cold mornings over the next two weeks did apparently bring about the demise of almost all the flower heads, because when I checked the bush several days ago I found just two.

The leaflets behind the goldeneye flower head in this picture were from a flameleaf sumac, Rhus lanceolata, that somehow managed to hang on to its foliage into January.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 22, 2015 at 5:30 AM

6 Responses

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  1. I can’t really tell you exactly why I like this image this time. I just do. Maybe it’s just the overall mood. Sombre perhaps? Makes me think of grief, but a gentle, quiet sort of grieving. Strange and magical how images can affect us in different ways. I suppose they may trigger memories that we aren’t even aware of sometimes.


    January 22, 2015 at 5:45 AM

    • When we consider all the things that have happened to us in our lives, the trillions of sights and sensations and occurrences, and the thoughts and emotions accompanying them all—only a tiny fraction of which we were conscious of at the time, and even fewer of which we can remember—I suspect that a sight similar to something in our past can trigger a memory and bring back the emotion associated with it, even though the process occurs with no conscious awareness and leaves us wondering where the emotion came from, and what sort of magic brought it about.

      That didn’t happen to me with this picture, which remains a pleasant enough picture, but I appreciate your telling that it crossed over into that other realm for you.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 22, 2015 at 8:21 AM

  2. Just lovely juxtaposition…


    January 22, 2015 at 9:33 AM

    • That makes this a justaposition, which I’ll define as ‘an arrangement that people feel is right or harmonious.’

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 22, 2015 at 9:39 AM

  3. That’s just not right. Frost and flowers should not be seen at the same time….unless it is a frost flower.

    Steve Gingold

    January 22, 2015 at 7:30 PM

    • Maybe not in Massachusetts, but down here you get two for the price of one: frost flowers followed by real flowers.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 22, 2015 at 9:08 PM

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