Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

A different sort of raft

with 22 comments

Sycamore Seed Ball Remains on Raft of Bubbles 2170A

Click for greater clarity.


Géricault had his Raft of the Medusa, and I have my Raft of the Platanus. His was made of wood, mine of bubbles (but if you want wood, just let the sycamore seeds that you see here take root and grow for a decade or two). Géricault’s raft was in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Africa, mine near the edge of a pond in northwest Austin. He painted his in 1818–19, I photographed mine on February 28, 2014.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 28, 2015 at 5:48 AM

22 Responses

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  1. I really enjoy coming across these in water. I like how you circled it. 🙂


    February 28, 2015 at 7:44 AM

    • I don’t know what makes bubbles of this kind (as opposed to the larger and more prominent ones from algae), but I like them, especially when they have a cargo like this fluff from a sycamore seed ball that’s coming apart).

      I don’t often frame things in a circle, but this one called out to me.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 28, 2015 at 12:08 PM

  2. Love your ideas, Steve, both for the subject and for the vignette. At first glance I thought it was the moon.


    February 28, 2015 at 10:38 AM

    • If the full moon rose looking like this, Gary, it could well create a worldwide panic, don’t you think?

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 28, 2015 at 12:40 PM

      • And now I’m reminded of Lars von Trier’s movie “Melancholia,” which I saw on television a few months ago.

        Steve Schwartzman

        February 28, 2015 at 12:42 PM

  3. An interesting photo. Really abstract and I love the circle framing.

    Raewyn's Photos

    February 28, 2015 at 1:13 PM

    • You’re the third commenter in a row to mention liking the circular framing here, Raewyn. I’m suddenly reminded of Edwin Markham’s little poem “Outwitted”:

      “He drew a circle that shut me out—
      Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.
      But Love and I had the wit to win:
      We drew a circle that took him in.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 28, 2015 at 1:25 PM

      • Great verse to go with the circle. No seriously, it really does make the image pop out and replicates the circles of the bubbles

        Raewyn's Photos

        February 28, 2015 at 1:26 PM

        • That’s an excellent added observation about the outer circle replicating the inner circles of the tiny bubbles.

          Steve Schwartzman

          February 28, 2015 at 1:30 PM

  4. I hope no cannibalism was involved. It looks peacefully vegetarian.


    March 1, 2015 at 4:55 AM

    • Shades of the Maori: cannibalism. But you’re right, there’s none here. Still, I don’t think we would find any part of a sycamore seed ball palatable, even if soaked in water.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 1, 2015 at 10:09 AM

  5. great picture !


    March 1, 2015 at 8:13 AM

  6. Interesting photo, well done!


    March 1, 2015 at 6:30 PM

  7. Oh boy…this is quite cool. I think this may challenge my favorite shot of yours…the algae bubbles.

    Steve Gingold

    March 1, 2015 at 6:50 PM

  8. It’s tempting to imagine I could float like that myself. What an inviting raft. Incredibly peaceful…


    March 3, 2015 at 12:54 PM

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