Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Great Hills wildflower display

with 23 comments

Four-Nerve Daisy Colony with Prickly Pear 9528

I live one mile inside the Texas Hill Country in a part of Austin appropriately called Great Hills. You’ve seen plenty of pictures that I’ve taken in Great Hills Park, but today’s photograph is from undeveloped land along Yaupon Dr. at the place where big power lines stretch east and west. The colonies of four-nerve daisies (Tetraneuris linearifolia) there this season are probably the densest I’ve ever seen anywhere, thanks to ample rain beginning in the winter and continuing well into the spring. This May 4th photograph includes three other Hill Country staples: limestone rocks, prickly pear cactus (Opuntia engelmannii var. lindheimeri), and Ashe juniper trees (Juniperus ashei).

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 17, 2015 at 5:25 AM

23 Responses

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  1. It appears you got more rain. It is helping to fill reservoirs and ground water I hope.

    Jim in IA

    May 17, 2015 at 6:31 AM

    • I was awakened about 10 minutes ago by the sounds of rain and thunder. Only once before during my 39 years in Austin do I remember so sustained a period of overcast and rainy days. Unfortunately most of the rain keeps falling downstream of the Highland Lakes that supply most of Austin’s water. The lakes have risen a little, but not nearly as much as we hoped and need.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 17, 2015 at 6:59 AM

  2. This picture actually reminds me of some scenery here in Australia – daisies, cacti and low bushes. It’s quite familiar to me. 🙂


    May 17, 2015 at 8:42 AM

    • I don’t know whether I should be surprised by that similarity, but if you visit Austin you should feel at home—assuming you can get used to driving on the right side of the street.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 17, 2015 at 9:10 AM

  3. Amazing to see such a large clump of the daisies. Lovely! I hope the rain comes more your way.


    May 17, 2015 at 10:08 AM

    • A most welcome sight (and site) it was—and still is, as three return visits have confirmed. I also saw lots of four-nerve daisies three days earlier when I visited the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, which is 20 miles south of here.

      We’re still getting ample rain in Austin, but we need it about 30-50 miles northwest of here, over the Highland Lakes.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 17, 2015 at 10:26 AM

  4. That’s a well-padded field of daisies.

    We’d love some of your rain to come up this way. When we have had any it has been little more than a mist. The forecast has called for rain but has been mistaken. We are due for some Tuesday…we’ll see.

    Steve Gingold

    May 17, 2015 at 6:32 PM

    • Sounds like you’re now in the condition that Texas has largely been in over the past few years. How quickly things sometimes change. In any case, yes, that’s a great field of daisies.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 17, 2015 at 7:35 PM

  5. I”ve heard people say a particularly irritating person “gets on their last nerve.” It would take some doing to get on this field’s last nerve: or last four-nerve, to be more precise.

    I assume the little hillock is overgrown construction detritus, but it reminds me of the pimple mounds out at Nash Prairie. That’s on my list of places to visit once things dry out. If nothing else, all the flowing water is going to clear out more of the water hyacinth from the bayous and creeks.


    May 17, 2015 at 9:36 PM

    • I think I remember your mentioning that strange expression once before, but never in connection with the myriad of four-nerve daisies I found in this meadow (and others), of which there is no last one.

      I don’t know the history of this site, which is along the right-of-way under the power lines and which also features a small playground on the Yaupon Dr. side. Clearly there has been human intervention here over the years, and part of the site is messed up at the moment because of work to replace some of the towers that support the power lines. (That’s also true of the area about a mile away off Morado Circle where I’ve often photographed, and over which the same power lines pass.) All of which is to say that I don’t know which irregularities are natural and which have been created by people.

      Water hyacinth flowers are beautiful but the plants are alien and aggressive, and they clog waterways across the South and do millions of dollars of damage—something you seem to know about.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 17, 2015 at 10:11 PM

  6. It would be interesting to see this site in the fall as well.


    May 18, 2015 at 3:39 PM

    • I’ve photographed there in the fall several times, and although there have been plenty of individual wildflowers then, there haven’t been the kinds of profuse colonies I’ve seen during this exceptional spring. But who knows: maybe all the current rain will lead to an exceptional fall as well. We’ll see.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 18, 2015 at 3:46 PM

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