Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Bluebell flower near some partridge peas that were also flowering

with 25 comments

Bluebell Flower by Partridge Pea Flowers 5715

In a recent post that used a picture from 2014 I mentioned my late-in-the-season find this year of a few bluebells, Eustoma exaltatum ssp. russellianum. The flowers were down low, close to a creek or pond adjacent to the Costco in Cedar Park, a little bit of nature I’d been meaning to explore photographically for some time but finally got around to checking out. In fact I ended up photographing there three times in August, with this view being from my visit on the 11th of the month. The yellow in the background came from some flowers of partridge pea, Chamaecrista fasciculata.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 27, 2015 at 5:33 AM

25 Responses

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  1. Thank you for a truly fine photograph. 🙂


    August 27, 2015 at 5:41 AM

  2. Hmm….not sure if I should say what I see in this bluebell image. You may wonder if I have been imbibing.


    August 27, 2015 at 6:01 AM

    • Aww, do tell: I hope it’s something of imbibical proportions.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 27, 2015 at 7:34 AM

      • hmmmm….. I see a yellow eyed critter dipping its nose into a green cup….that’s for starters. 😀


        August 27, 2015 at 8:00 AM

        • Ah yes: long and swept-back eyes. I hope they won’t puff up from an allergic reaction to pollen.

          Your imagination’s off to a good start:
          Is there anything else you’d care to impart?

          Steve Schwartzman

          August 27, 2015 at 8:05 AM

          • How about the hand of a Dr Seuss character holding up a beautiful blue bowl? Right, time to get some sleep.


            August 27, 2015 at 8:13 AM

  3. I was thinking Georgia O’Keefe, but I can see the Dr. Seuss fingers…
    very lovely.
    Are you familiar with Ellen Quillin? I’ve been reading a wonderful book about women naturalists from the 1800’s and early 1900’s. Ellen botanized in Texas and had a lot to do with the Witte Museum. And then Mary Sophie Young contributed to botany in the Austin area. She wrote “A Key to the Families and Genera of Flowering Plants and Ferns in the Vicinity of Austin, Texas” in 1917. How grand!


    August 27, 2015 at 9:32 AM

  4. What an exqusite photo from this angle. Well done, Steve. Hardly what I think of – this kind of beauty near Costco! I’m glad you found it.

    Sammy D.

    August 27, 2015 at 9:48 AM

    • This Costco opened only a couple of years ago, and the developer of the shopping center at least created some ponds and left some wild spaces adjacent to the stores. I found plenty of plants and insects once I walked around and looked more closely than is possible from the parking lot. The bluebonnets came at the end of one of my visits, when I’d been walking around taking pictures for a couple of hours, was tired, and almost missed those flowers.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 27, 2015 at 2:05 PM

  5. I love the joyful gorgeous color, your image is such a treat for the eye…There is some amazing things to see in this world when you stop to look.

    Charlie@Seattle Trekker

    August 27, 2015 at 5:49 PM

    • I love the mix of colors in bluebells by themselves, but this time the yellow from the partridge pea added something special to the view.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 27, 2015 at 10:13 PM

  6. I’ve been sitting here staring at this photo, trying to figure out how you managed to knit together the bluebell and the partridge peas.

    The yellow from the partridge peas in the background seems to have become a part of the bluebell. Are the bluebell petals so translucent near the base that the yellow is shining through? Or is there a reflection? Or do bluebells actually have more yellow than I’ve realized?

    Maybe it’s just magic.


    August 27, 2015 at 9:01 PM

    • I’ve just come back from an investigation into your question. I looked at the pictures I took of a bluebell from below during the same session but at an angle that included no partridge pea flowers in the background. The sun was still largely in front of me and I confirmed that the light passing through from the other side created those yellow-green “eyes” (as Gallivanta saw them). So yes, there was enough translucence and innate color in the bluebell to produce that yellowish color even without any yellow transmitted or reflected from partridge pea flowers. In this post’s photograph, the two yellow patches from the partridge peas in the background were independent of any yellowish color in the base of the bluebell.

      Of course you’re welcome to disregard that long answer and chalk everything up to the magic spell cast by the photographer.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 27, 2015 at 10:29 PM

      • Even if there’s no magic color fairy flitting around, I think it’s magical the way you can reveal aspects of these flowers that we rarely see, even if our nose is six inches away from them.

        And, just to double-check my answer to my own question, the purple are petals, and the long, slender green thingies are sepals: yes?


        August 28, 2015 at 7:17 AM

        • When it comes to botanical terminology I’m shaky. I looked at the entry for this species in several botanical books but none mentioned the long green thingies, which I would have been tempted to call bracts (my all-purpose word), but sepals seems to fit as well.

          When photographing plants, one reason I spend time down low is to get the lowdown on them, i.e. see them in ways that are different from the ones in which we conventionally see them.

          Steve Schwartzman

          August 28, 2015 at 8:22 AM

  7. Pretty colors, nice out of focus background, and perspective. Such a lovely flower.


    August 27, 2015 at 10:41 PM

    • I had to lie down to get this perspective, and that’s why I always carry a mat with me. I suspect many people never get to see this view of bluebells from below, but I’ve come to like it at least as much as the view from above looking into the flower.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 27, 2015 at 10:54 PM

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