Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

I would have missed them if I’d missed them.

with 22 comments

Mountain Pinks Flowering on Cliff Face 9449

Our three-week trip to the Midwest in June took me out of Austin during the prime season for mountain pinks (Centaurium beyrichii). I hadn’t seen any before I left and didn’t know whether I’d see any after I returned. Fortunately I did, as confirmed by this picture from June 27th on the west side of Capital of Texas Highway just north of Champion Grandview Way. The pareidolia partisans among you can consider this photograph an Austin take on Mount Rushmore. For those of you who are more down-to-earth, below is a closer look at one of those flowering mountain pink plants.

Mountain Pink Flowers 9475

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 10, 2016 at 4:46 AM

22 Responses

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  1. Looks like Old Stoneface.

    Jim Ruebush

    July 10, 2016 at 6:42 AM

  2. I’m so glad you found your mountain pinks. These are nice ones, too: not at all in decline. Look at all those buds! I’m glad you showed them in closeup as well as tucked into the rocks.

    When I was in Kerrville, the pinks were abundant, but tended to be in large colonies alongside the road. Eventually, when I traveled farther west, I did find a few “bouquets” like yours, growing on cliffs created by road cuts. I was surprised to see they had ferns as companions. I can’t remember ever seeing ferns so fresh and green along the roads, except at low water crossings, but I suppose that’s what ten extra inches of rain will do.


    July 10, 2016 at 7:23 AM

    • Mountain pinks and ferns: now there’s a combination I’ve never seen, given the different environments those plants normally grow in. I sure would like to have seen the two together, especially with the ferns as vivid a green as you say they were. Did you manage to get any pink/green pictures?

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 10, 2016 at 8:27 AM

      • I didn’t. Although they were on the same cliffs, they were between ten and twenty feet high, well separated, and hard to get into the same frame except as small spots of green and pink. I did take a couple of photos of the ferns just as a record, and to try to identify the species. They were along the roads near Tarpley, Vanderpool, and Leakey.


        July 10, 2016 at 9:45 AM

  3. Love the face…kind of a lurking glance to it, I think. So glad you didn’t miss the pinks 🙂


    July 10, 2016 at 7:52 AM

    • I’m glad not to have missed them, but even if I had I’d just wait till next spring. In contrast, all the things I saw near you aren’t likely to come my way again, so the trade would have been well worth it. Even better is that I got to enjoy both.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 10, 2016 at 8:41 AM

  4. Steven: Great job! Here’s one for you…I even coined it, I think?
    “If I hadn’t seen it with my own Eyes I wouldn’t have believed my Eyes.”


    July 10, 2016 at 8:00 AM

    • I’m tempted to reply that the things we see with our own eyes are no lies—except that optical illusions prove otherwise.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 10, 2016 at 8:42 AM

  5. I like that picture of the rock face very much. 🙂


    July 10, 2016 at 9:18 AM

    • When I took that picture I was so intent on the cliff and flowers that I didn’t see a face. Only when preparing to use the image in this post did the face appear to me.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 10, 2016 at 9:47 AM

  6. Glad that you had some blooms at ground level so you didn’t have to play mountain goat for the mountain pinks.

    Steve Gingold

    July 10, 2016 at 2:32 PM

    • In my experience, this species is more likely to grow on the ground than out of the face of a cliff, so I’ve never lacked for accessible flowers. Of course the ones on cliffs add a certain drama, and that’s one of the times I put a long lens on the camera.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 10, 2016 at 2:53 PM

  7. This would be a perfect response to this week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge: Look up.


    July 11, 2016 at 4:11 AM

    • It’s surprising how many things go unseen because we often don’t look up. Experience with mountain pinks has taught me to look up as well as down.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 11, 2016 at 5:23 AM

  8. Aren’t they special! A little pop of pink on the bank 😊


    July 12, 2016 at 3:06 AM

  9. […] pinks (Centaurium beyrichii) back in Austin. It wasn’t, as I showed in a post entitled “I would have missed them if I’d missed them.” This year, after we returned from our latest American road odyssey, I wondered the same […]

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