Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Woo-woo wildflowers!

with 29 comments

Dense May Wildflowers 3114

The early part of the spring here was sub-par in producing big colonies of wildflowers. Intervening rains have made the second half of the season much better for grand-scale floral displays. Now we’re looking more like Texas is supposed to look in the spring, as you can see from this mix of wildflowers I found along Capital of Texas Highway at the southern edge of my neighborhood on May 4.

Yellow: Thelesperma filifolium; greenthread.

Purple: Monarda citriodora; horsemint.

Red: Gaillardia pulchella; firewheel, Indian blanket, blanket flower.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 7, 2016 at 5:04 AM

29 Responses

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  1. How glorious

    Chas Spain

    May 7, 2016 at 7:01 AM

  2. And perfect for my wild flower month (I know you don’t do challenges, but this is such a great image!)


    May 7, 2016 at 8:15 AM

    • Thanks, Jude. The previous day I’d driven over a hundred miles but this was a better wildflower display than any I’d seen on that outing, and it was just two miles from home. The next day I went to a slightly farther stretch of the same highway and did more.

      Getting out in the Texas heat slathered in sunscreen and contending with cactus spines, fire ants, greenbrier thorns, chiggers, dust, allergens, etc., is challenge enough!

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 7, 2016 at 8:45 AM

      • Haha.. yes that does sound challenging! I am enjoying the wild flowers in the hedgerows around here at the moment. No need to go very far. No cactus spines, but lots of stinging nettles and prickly brambles!


        May 7, 2016 at 8:48 AM

        • It’s good to hear you’re also finding wildflowers close to home. In addition to the things I mentioned, we’ve got prickly brambles and stinging nettles too. Texas and human skin have a contentious relationship; the skin inevitably coming out the worse.

          Steve Schwartzman

          May 7, 2016 at 8:59 AM

  3. Good to see you and Texas in your glory! I tend to forget what you go through~chiggers, heat, etc. I’m still enjoying 60’s with clouds and rain (my favorite weather pattern 🙂 ) but I know the heat is on its way here as well. And Chiggers, ticks, thorns…..


    May 7, 2016 at 12:21 PM

    • It sure took a while to get some floral profusion. Now that it’s here, at least in certain areas, I’ve been out photographing four days in a row.

      We’re just beginning to get into the real heat, and the chiggers began to make themselves felt about a week ago. I’ve rarely had any trouble with ticks in all the years I’ve lived here. I understand it’s worse in some places up north.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 7, 2016 at 4:31 PM

      • Ticks are a recent, and increasing, problem here. And mosquitoes, let’s not forget them. I wouldn’t mind so much but now they carry scary diseases that really give me pause when I’m about to sally forth.


        May 8, 2016 at 7:37 AM

  4. Another painting photo! Lovely.


    May 7, 2016 at 4:11 PM

  5. Awesome plant density. That’d make one eye-crosser of a jigsaw puzzle.

    Steve Gingold

    May 7, 2016 at 4:30 PM

    • In an earlier draft of this post I referred to density too. If you’d like to create an eye-crossing jigsaw puzzle, you have my blessing.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 7, 2016 at 4:39 PM

  6. Wowser!!

  7. Spectacular!

    Lemony (Gr)Egghead

    May 7, 2016 at 8:40 PM

  8. I grinned at your comment about finding these close to home after making that longer trip. Spring really does seem to have gotten a second wind (or bloom), and the cemetery in Galveston is much closer than the wildlife refuges. During three trips this past week, I found the blanket of coreopsis had come to include Gaillardia, day flowers, rain lilies, vervain, spiderwort, bindweed — not to mention I few I recognize but can’t name, and many I don’t know.

    I still haven’t seen horsemint. Maybe I’ll put that on this week’s to-do list: “Find horsemint” beats “Organize sock drawer” any day.


    May 8, 2016 at 6:44 AM

    • I do hope a horsemint will sock it to you soon. When it does, check out the flowers’ scent. Many people find Monarda citriodora citrusy (as in the scientific name); I find it pleasant but I don’t make the association to citrus.

      How nice that you’ve gone forth to the cemetery in Galveston for a third time to see the first-rate wildflowers in this spring’s second bloom. I wish last year had offered up the diversity you describe in this year’s crop.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 8, 2016 at 8:04 AM

  9. I adore wild flowers Steve … they are such gorgeous things the way they pop up in all sorts of terrain. Always bring a smile 🙂


    May 8, 2016 at 11:17 PM

    • Then you’d be having an adorable and smiling time in Texas now. The rains of the last couple of months have done their work.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 9, 2016 at 5:05 AM

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