Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Clematis and clouds

with 60 comments

Clematis drummondii Strands and Prominent Clouds 9964

While wandering—but not lonely as a cloud—in the northeast quadrant of Mopac and US 183 on February 27, 2013, I photographed the latter stage of the familiar vine known colloquially as old man’s beard, Clematis drummondii. It’s appeared in these pages probably a dozen times, but never with as dramatic a skyscape as the one from that day two years ago.


I’m still away from home (barely). You’re welcome to leave comments, but please understand if I’m a bit late in answering.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman


Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 27, 2015 at 5:54 AM

60 Responses

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  1. That is amazingl


    February 27, 2015 at 6:03 AM

  2. What a perfect background – nature really cooperated with you


    February 27, 2015 at 6:48 AM

  3. Great shot, Steve.


    February 27, 2015 at 6:59 AM

  4. I love it, this one says something! It says a LOT of things!


    February 27, 2015 at 7:05 AM

  5. Love the connection between land and sky. You are very good at this.


    February 27, 2015 at 7:45 AM

  6. Lovely capture with a delicacy of nature’s hand.


    February 27, 2015 at 8:03 AM

  7. Very creative, Steve.


    February 27, 2015 at 8:03 AM

  8. I love the whimsy in this one, with the resonance between the wispy cloud and the wispy beard.


    February 27, 2015 at 8:15 AM

  9. Fabulous! This must be one of my all-time favourites Steve!


    February 27, 2015 at 8:42 AM

    • Thanks for letting me know, Cathy. Hope spring comes early in Bavaria this year.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 27, 2015 at 9:24 PM

      • Barely any signs of it yet Steve, but it can’t be far off now. 🙂


        March 1, 2015 at 3:07 PM

  10. Despite your postings of ice, snow, and frostweed, this feels like the most wintery photo in your oeuvre. The blue and white are as pristine as a bright, winter day after a fresh snowfall, and the clematis strands resemble frost. It’s beautiful.


    February 27, 2015 at 9:27 AM

    • Today is an appropriate day for wintery, alas, with the thermometer in my yard in Austin reading barely above freezing. That wasn’t my intention when I scheduled this picture in January, but I’ll agree the blue calls up cold quite well.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 27, 2015 at 9:37 PM

      • Ah ~ welcome home.


        February 27, 2015 at 9:51 PM

        • Thanks, though I wish I could say the same to my valise, which has gone missing. Maybe the airline will still turn it up, or maybe not. I’d never entrust anything important (like cameras, photographs, laptops, phones) to checked baggage, but rebuying lost clothing will still be a nuisance if the bag doesn’t materialize.

          Steve Schwartzman

          February 27, 2015 at 9:56 PM

  11. This is lovely…


    February 27, 2015 at 10:37 AM

    • You’ve given me leave (I hope) to place this among the jewels of nature photography in Austin.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 27, 2015 at 9:51 PM

  12. Love this photo!


    February 27, 2015 at 10:59 AM

  13. Very nice. Ethereal!

    jane tims

    February 27, 2015 at 6:14 PM

  14. I got ‘Antipodes’ for Christmas. I love the poems, the way they make you feel you are driving down the road with her! Jane

    jane tims

    February 27, 2015 at 6:17 PM

    • Is this the ‘Antipodes’ you’re talking about?


      Steve Schwartzman

      February 27, 2015 at 9:43 PM

      • Hi. Sorry, I was responding to the post just below yours on my reader and must have hit the wrong spot. Antipodes is a poetry book by Maureen Sudlow. Nevertheless I have been thinking about you and wonder if you’ve ever been to the Ajo Desert. I am re-reading Edwin Way Teal’s ‘Journey into Winter’ and mean to go back in your posts to see if you have photographed any of the plants he mentions. I’m certain you have done some of the cacti. Sorry for the mixup! Jane

        jane tims

        February 28, 2015 at 6:36 AM

        • Hi, Jane. I thought perhaps you’d inadvertently put a comment here that was intended for someone else, and so you did. This past fall I was in Phoenix and Tucson but never made it southwest of those places to the desert near Ajo. Maybe someday I will.

          Steve Schwartzman

          February 28, 2015 at 11:58 AM

  15. Clap, clap, clap–till my hands hurt!


    February 27, 2015 at 7:10 PM

    • I appreciate your enthusiasm, Gary, (and your novel way of expressing it), but not at the expense of calloused hands.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 27, 2015 at 9:44 PM

  16. wow ness


    February 27, 2015 at 8:09 PM

  17. My first thought was that it was a cloud in front of another cloud. The wispy Clematis looks like you’ve captured a cloud on a stick. Very dreamy.


    February 27, 2015 at 10:10 PM

  18. Wonderful shot


    February 28, 2015 at 7:45 PM

  19. I love the simplicity of this image Steve!

    Michael Glover

    February 28, 2015 at 11:47 PM

  20. This is quite a unique, and I imagine neck challenging, shot. Great sky as a backdrop for this beard in the wind.

    Steve Gingold

    March 1, 2015 at 6:45 PM

  21. […] Photo courtesy of Portraits of Wildflowers […]

    • And my haiku that goes with the image. Thanks, Steve, for the borrow! It’s a great shot.

      white hair in the breeze
      my twigs as wings gain lift
      flying as the clouds


      March 2, 2015 at 7:48 AM

  22. Still one of the most mesmerizing and dreamlike images I’ve seen anywhere. Trust you to see this perfection and capture it so sweetly.


    March 3, 2015 at 12:53 PM

  23. This is a really impressive shot. The repetition of theme, color, and movement is wonderful. Great job!!


    March 3, 2015 at 8:39 PM

  24. Love this!

    Susan Scheid

    March 5, 2015 at 6:08 PM

  25. Gorgeous!

    K.J. Ottinger

    February 10, 2019 at 5:57 PM

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