Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Also by the pond

with 19 comments

Goldenrod Turned Fluffy by Pond 1403

Close to the bushy bluestem that you saw last time at one of the ponds next to the Costco in Cedar Park on December 29th, I was also intrigued by the pale yet stately remains of some goldenrod (Solidago spp.).

Call me crazy, but these more-than-three goldenrod plants reminded me of the three Graces in Botticelli’s painting “La Primavera.” And now you can tell that the flight of fancy has landed when I mundanely point out a few seed heads of bushy bluestem beyond the goldenrod in the lower right corner of the photograph.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman


Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 15, 2016 at 5:11 AM

19 Responses

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  1. Ah, another one! This is so pretty, Steve!


    January 15, 2016 at 5:51 AM

    • I lucked out with two picturesque species of dried plants on that walk. This time I used my traditional approach of standing in a place where the water served as an isolating background for the subject.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 15, 2016 at 9:10 AM

  2. I always love how feathery they are!


    January 15, 2016 at 6:16 AM

  3. I’m struck by their golden color. All the goldenrod remains that I’ve seen around here are a far less attractive combination of gray, darker gray, and white. I had no idea they could be so pretty: like the grasses.

    Speaking of grasses, I’ve been keeping an eye on that estuary whose grasses seemed to be changing color. It is the light. On sunny days, the grasses are a beautiful gold. If it’s foggy or cloudy, they appear to be a rusty, coppery red and green. It’s quite a lesson in the effects of light.


    January 15, 2016 at 7:11 AM

    • With your observations about the effects of light, I bet you’ll have a new appreciation for landscape paintings the next time you see some in a museum or gallery. The soft light of an overcast or foggy morning makes quite a difference, and most nature photographers prefer that to the typically gaudy light in the middle hours of the day (though that doesn’t stop me from going out then too).

      Even when goldenrod has already turned mostly fluffy, I’ve noticed that at least some insects are still attracted, presumably because some nectar remains in the flower heads.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 15, 2016 at 9:36 AM

  4. This is a beautiful image of the remains of the goldenrod against a misty background. Brings back memories of places I have been. Thank you for that!

    Lavinia Ross

    January 15, 2016 at 8:57 AM

    • You’re welcome, Lavinia. If I had a time machine I’d send you back for a visit to those places locked in memory.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 15, 2016 at 9:39 AM

  5. I love the interesting detail, your posts are such a wonderful nudge to look a little harder at my own environment, to see all that is there.

    Charlie@Seattle Trekker

    January 15, 2016 at 2:32 PM

  6. Beautiful image .. The plant looks special against the background


    January 16, 2016 at 12:20 AM

  7. Some of the composites are so lovely when fall comes and they dry and change colour. Tansy turns black … Amazing.

    jane tims

    January 18, 2016 at 3:59 PM

    • Yes, let’s hear it for the composites, which form a large and composite family. As you pointed out, many members of that family turn turn warm or even dark colors and get fuzzy after they go to seed; there’s always plenty for a photographer to do with them.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 18, 2016 at 4:10 PM

  8. I love it that you see the Graces here~I often see dancers when I look at groups of plants.


    January 20, 2016 at 11:12 AM

    • I’ve looked at (and photographed) plenty of other dried-out goldenrod plants over the years, but as far as I recall, these were the only ones that ever made me think of Botticelli’s Graces.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 20, 2016 at 11:52 AM

      • At any rate, I am glad you had a grace-filled moment. The photo is lovely.


        January 20, 2016 at 4:24 PM

        • Fortunately I was able to isolate the goldenrod against the pond and keep out the nearby buildings and parking lots.

          Steve Schwartzman

          January 20, 2016 at 4:56 PM

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