Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Buttercup Creek landscape

with 18 comments

Butternut Creek Landscape 3774

Here’s a vertical winter landscape showing Buttercup Creek in the town of Cedar Park on a mild and clear February 4. The dry grass may have been switchgrass, Panicum virgatum, and it spoke to the previous season, but the black willow trees, Salix nigra, were already rising into spring with reddish new growth in their crowns. Not far away I found some unaccustomed little flowers, about which you’ll see and hear more next time.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman


Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 20, 2016 at 5:01 AM

18 Responses

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  1. Sometimes beauty is in the reflection, my friend.


    February 20, 2016 at 6:02 AM

  2. It’s interesting that the creek seems greener than the landscape. I really like the swath of grass cutting through the middle, and the way each third of the photo is differently tinted.

    Buttercups are thick here now, but that probably isn’t tomorrow’s flower, since it’s hardly “unaccustomed.” Perhaps you’ve found something less common than our Carolina buttercup. What I’m sure of is that I’ll be bouncing along to this for a while yet.


    February 20, 2016 at 8:19 AM

    • I guessed the song you linked to, based on your buttercup comments. You may be aware that in Texas the term buttercup has been traditionally (mis)applied to the pink evening primrose. I’ve seen almost no true buttercups here yet, but I’m glad to hear they’re sunning up the coastal part of the state already. You’re correct that tomorrow’s species isn’t anything as familiar as a buttercup (or either type).

      I don’t often show traditional landscape photos here, so I was grateful for the chance. One reason I featured this straightforward one is because it’s vertical. That orientation lent itself here to highlighting the layers you commented on, with their different tints. I imagine the greenish tint of the creek comes from the yellow in the brown grasses mixing with the blue of the sky

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 20, 2016 at 8:35 AM

  3. I love the creeks hereabouts.


    February 20, 2016 at 8:41 AM

    • We’re both fortunate in that regard. You have your Crabapple Creek and I have primarily Bull Creek and its tributaries, but there are plenty of others. Only last year did I discover Buttercup Creek and the lake that a dam has created on it.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 20, 2016 at 9:13 AM

      • Well, we also have some more creeks up on Lower Crabapple Road, and then the Pedernales – not exactly a creek any more, but still lovely.


        February 20, 2016 at 3:16 PM

        • Did you know that pedernal is the Spanish word for ‘flint’?

          Steve Schwartzman

          February 20, 2016 at 5:09 PM

          • No, I didn’t know that. Thanks for the info. 🙂


            February 21, 2016 at 10:21 AM

            • You’re welcome. Pedernales is the plural. Presumably Spanish or Mexican explorers found deposits of flint near this river.

              Steve Schwartzman

              February 21, 2016 at 11:04 AM

  4. It is a pleasure to be virtually out and about and enjoying streams with you today. We are having another day above 50 here, for which I am grateful. Did you hear about all the wind in Chicago? Wow….


    February 20, 2016 at 12:43 PM

    • Welcome to the virtual world of nature in central Texas.

      I hadn’t heard about the wind in the Windy City today, but I found this: “High winds gusting more than 60 mph led to building evacuations, street closings, and forced the CTA to suspend service on some elevated lines. Power outages and wind damage have been widely reported across the city and suburbs.”

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 20, 2016 at 1:52 PM

      • Yes, I believe over 100,000 people were without power as of 9pm. At least it was warm.


        February 20, 2016 at 3:31 PM

        • I see the overnight low in Chicago is predicted to be 36°. That may be warm for Chicago in February, but I wouldn’t want to be without electricity at that temperature.

          Steve Schwartzman

          February 20, 2016 at 5:08 PM

  5. Looks like you may be going around the bend on this one, Steve. Our creeks are still mostly ice with only a few channels and cascades freely running.

    Steve Gingold

    February 24, 2016 at 3:56 AM

    • Well said with “going around the bend.” Except for frostweed ribbons, I saw no ice in nature at all this winter. None. Zilch. Nada. That’s one respect in which you and Pairodox have a photographic advantage.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 24, 2016 at 7:16 AM

  6. Hey…that’s near me! I live in Cedar. It’s been such a warm Feb to get out and explore.

    Brandon Brasseaux

    March 2, 2016 at 3:51 PM

    • What a coincidence. I discovered Muir Lake and Buttercup Creek just last year. This was only the second time I’d photographed there.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 2, 2016 at 4:51 PM

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