Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Milkweed buds

with 22 comments

Melisa Pierson: "It is usually less than 2' tall, and the leaves are variable from narrow to wide oval. I do see quite a bit of variation out there, in fact, I thought there were 2 different species but research tells me that it is one species. I am seeing an increase of it at Illinois Beach."

On June 9th at Illinois Beach State Park I photographed this cluster of milkweed (Asclepias spp.) buds. In looking at the picture now, I like the way the curves and lines of the elements farther back complement the buds whose closest tips are sharply detailed in the foreground.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 12, 2016 at 4:53 AM

Posted in nature photography

Tagged with , , , ,

22 Responses

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  1. Lovely composition.

    Victor Rakmil

    September 12, 2016 at 5:15 AM

  2. We need to have more of these in our garden, to help the Monarch butterflies.


    September 12, 2016 at 9:03 AM

    • Fortunately there are lots of native Asclepias species in central Texas, so you have many choices for your garden.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 12, 2016 at 9:39 AM

  3. Your composition is so engaging, such a pleasure for the eye.

    Charlie@Seattle Trekker

    September 12, 2016 at 12:18 PM

  4. I’m always in awe of the details you capture in your images 🙂

    My Small Surrenders

    September 12, 2016 at 12:24 PM

    • I couldn’t do it without a good macro lens and a good camera, for both of which I’m thankful.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 12, 2016 at 3:17 PM

  5. I finally saw another monarch here today, but it’s the first I’ve seen in quite a while. It seemed to be in good shape, though. Hopefully there will be more.


    September 12, 2016 at 6:51 PM

  6. What a lovely green. I can’t quite pinpoint the color. The closest I can come is homemade mint ice cream made with real mint, rather than those ghastly food colorings. It looks like the leaves are as hairy as the buds, which would soften the color, too.

    I’ve been surprised by how much milkweed is blooming now. There’s a good bit of A. viridis, but the slim and swamp milkweeds also are relatively plentiful, and blooming.

    There were 50 Monarchs reported in Belton today, and 100 in Harker Heights. Both places are listed on the tracking site at 31.1N latitude, just north of Austin. Maybe you’ll see some soon.


    September 12, 2016 at 9:23 PM

    • I could use some of that real mint tonight for all the chigger bites I ended up with after a couple of hours out in nature this morning. Hydrocortisone cream will have to do.

      If monarchs are in Belton, then they should be here soon. Unfortunately the field near the Austin-Round Rock border where, a decade or more ago, I saw the greatest number of monarchs I’ve ever seen, recently became a construction site. Gone are the many goldenrods and Maximilian sunflowers that the monarchs stopped to take nectar from.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 12, 2016 at 10:17 PM

  7. The colour and the form remind me of certain types of ceramics which were once popular, as per this example of Carlton Ware. https://newlynantiques.smugmug.com/Newlyn-Antiques/Ceramics-Carlton-Ware/i-FTQQK8P/A


    September 13, 2016 at 5:37 AM

    • I’m impressed by your accurate memory for color matching. I don’t know that I ever heard of Carlton Ware, so I looked it up:


      In that article I found a strange connection to green: the murderer of the wife of the son of one of the company’s founders was hanged at a prison named Winson Green:

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 13, 2016 at 7:56 AM

      • Carlton Ware remains popular with collectors in NZ and Australia. I didn’t know about that grim piece of history. In the link I see the murderer was Leslie Green. I will now look at my green pieces of Carlton Ware in a new light.


        September 13, 2016 at 7:01 PM

  8. I am so often drawn to photograph milkweed on walks, even though they are so common. The buds before and after opening, the fluffy seeds, the butterflies they attract…they really are appealing. With your talent, you’re able to find even more ways to showcase them than me. The texture and soft focus on the surrounds is lovely. It makes me think of the shape of a wedding bouquet.


    September 17, 2016 at 1:37 AM

    • I can see how you might think of a wedding bouquet. The “soft focus on the surrounds,” as you put it, appealed to me in this picture as well. (By the way, we seem not to use surround(s) as a noun over here.)

      Asclepias is an American genus, so I’m assuming the milkweeds over there all cultivated specimens or plants that have escaped into the wild. The latter seems likely because you speak of milkweed as “so common.”

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 17, 2016 at 10:28 AM

  9. Beautiful – perfect background.


    September 20, 2016 at 6:16 PM

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