Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

First bluebonnets for 2016

with 18 comments

Bluebonnet Inflorescence Forming 6130

In a comment on February 21st, Kathy Henderson said she’d happily found some bluebonnets already flowering behind the LDS church in the town of Cedar Park. I thanked her for the alert and told her I’d try to make my way out there. Four days later I did. It was the first time I’d ever taken pictures in that part of Cedar Park, though far from the first time I lay on the ground to be close to a diminutive subject. A few of the bluebonnets were fully flowering but I prefer this portrait of an inflorescence that was still developing. And how about that piece of a “green rainbow” vignetting the picture’s upper right corner?

Yesterday I learned that today is Arts Advocacy Day in the United States.

UPDATE. In reply to a comment yesterday about the fiery skipper butterflies, I linked to a photograph showing that a mating pair of them can be docile.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman


Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 7, 2016 at 5:02 AM

18 Responses

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  1. Awesome! Spring, please come soon! 🙂


    March 7, 2016 at 5:05 AM

  2. Beautiful color and composition.


    March 7, 2016 at 5:42 AM

    • At this stage the color is more subtle, and the shape of the inflorescence more conical, than a week later.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 7, 2016 at 6:10 AM

  3. I really like the complexity of this image, Steve.


    March 7, 2016 at 7:39 AM

  4. I purchased a bluebonnet plant last year to grow in my small woods. Still too soon to tell if it was successful but I am hopeful. Tom Whelan showed me a spot an hour or so away a few years back where they grow in an arboretum. If mine doesn’t flower I may go there again.

    Steve Gingold

    March 7, 2016 at 3:58 PM

    • Within the last few days bluebonnets have been springing up in many places here. Good luck with your experiment; whether from at your home or an hour away, I’ll be curious to see how you portray what is for you an exotic species.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 7, 2016 at 4:08 PM

  5. Interesting how, in this picture, the petals look like claws.


    March 8, 2016 at 7:52 AM

    • At this stage they do have that look, don’t they? After the flowers open they lose much of that resemblance to claws.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 8, 2016 at 8:06 AM

  6. This has such an Art Nouveau feel to it. I can see it as a William Morris textile, or wallpaper motif. It’s just lovely. I realized last weekend that I’ve rarely seen the first stages of Indian paintbrush or bluebonnet blooms. Whether I wasn’t out early enough, or wasn’t looking closely enough — or both! — is an open question.


    March 8, 2016 at 3:38 PM

    • You can provide a closed answer to your open question by taking a close look at each while it’s still early in the season, and having a good camera that you’re getting proficient with helps.

      In looking back through my posts I realized that I’ve repeatedly shown closeups of bluebonnets in this formative stage, while the fully developed ones have appeared en masse. It remains to be seen whether I get a good closeup of a fully developed bluebonnet this year.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 8, 2016 at 3:48 PM

  7. As Melissa wrote, there’s an appealing complexity about this image, Steve. The colours, the textures, details, shapes and light fall – so much coming together to contribute to a beautiful picture of a simple subject. 🙂


    March 9, 2016 at 3:38 AM

    • It’s a compliment to have commenters see the complex combinations in this composition.

      You may not know, as many Americans wouldn’t either, that the bluebonnet is the state wildflower of Texas.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 9, 2016 at 9:46 AM

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