Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

And now for a different slant on Maximilian sunflowers

with 21 comments

Maximilian Sunflowers Bending in the Breeze 6910

When I was taking pictures on October 1 at the intersection of Greenlawn Blvd. and Interstate 35 in Round Rock just north of the border with Austin, I not only photographed a gulf fritillary butterfly on Maximilian sunflowers, Helianthus maximiliani, but the plants in their own right. Here I caught a cross-section of a stand of those normally erect sunflowers at the leftmost position to which a gust of wind blew them.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 11, 2015 at 4:55 AM

21 Responses

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  1. Nice to catch your angle on things.

    My neighbor was over for dinner last night and she was telling us about the Juster Hill climb. She used to teach at UTAustin.

    Steve Gingold

    October 11, 2015 at 5:14 AM

    • You might say all those years of teaching math prepared me for this angle on things. See how I’ve come full circle.

      You may want to ask your neighbor if she meant Jester. Jester Estates is a neighborhood in hilly northwest Austin a few miles southwest of the Great Hills neighborhood where I live. Two roads enter Jester, and both climb fairly steeply.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 11, 2015 at 7:26 AM

  2. Now, here’s a memory from long, long ago — a high school football cheer, slightly revised for your flowers:

    Lean to the left, lean to the right,
    Blooms for the autumn: bright, bright, bright!


    October 11, 2015 at 6:51 AM

    • I favor your modified version, and I much prefer its subject to the one for which the original cheer was created.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 11, 2015 at 7:27 AM

  3. Beautiful shot! Texas has great wildflowers.

    automatic gardener

    October 11, 2015 at 8:20 AM

  4. My best compliment for this beautiful pic. Those are what we call topinambur here. Their tubers taste very delicate and are rich in healthy benefits

    Giuseppa Sallustio

    October 11, 2015 at 8:30 AM

    • Actually this is a different species. The one you know as topinamb(o)ur, also called Jerusalem artichoke or sunchoke or girasole, is Helianthus tuberosus, whose species name refers to the plant’s edible tubers. According to the Wikipedia article about Helianthus maximiliani: “The thick rhizome is edible and provided a food similar to the Jerusalem artichoke for Native American groups such as the Sioux.” I’ve never tried eating the local species, but I’ll have to ask around to see if anyone I know has.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 11, 2015 at 9:27 AM

      • Indeed, both of them belong to the same Asteraceae family and come from North America, where Sioux had as edible food. Anyway, we use to prepare the tuber in a very simple way, by slicing it very thin and fry gently in extra virgin olive oil, few drops of white wine, fresh parsley and a sprinkle of salt and pepper (perhaps just a hint of garlic). The taste reminds about artichoke and it is so good and light. It is worth trying.

        Giuseppa Sallustio

        October 11, 2015 at 10:32 AM

  5. Love the slant… it’s what makes this image different from all the other sunflower pictures out there! Kudos.


    October 11, 2015 at 11:45 AM

    • The slant is what made this special for me too. Thanks for appreciating this novel take on the subject.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 11, 2015 at 11:59 AM

  6. This photo provides a terrific perspective. I noticed that it also makes me lean to the side in my chair as I look at it 😉

    Birder's Journey

    October 11, 2015 at 3:11 PM

    • Good that you’re sitting down, or else your leaning might have made you tip over. (That’s sometimes how I feel when walking about with my heavy camera bag.)

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 11, 2015 at 3:44 PM

  7. I’m inclined to admire this one.


    October 18, 2015 at 9:37 PM

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