Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Lindheimer’s senna and clouds

with 18 comments


Lindheimer’s senna is nothing new in central Texas, even if Innovation Way is where I photographed this stand of Senna lindheimeriana healthily flowering in its customary autumnal way on September 9th in Cedar Park.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 26, 2016 at 5:03 AM

18 Responses

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  1. The repeating clouds make it work.

    Sherry Felix

    September 26, 2016 at 6:44 AM

    • In this and other pictures I took at that time I was quite aware of the clouds and did my best to find positions that lined them up attractively with my subjects. The clouds kept moving, so sometimes I had to work quickly. At other times the opposite was true, and I had to wait for the clouds to move to an appropriate place.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 26, 2016 at 6:56 AM

  2. Ok, yes the clouds are perfect, and I’ve seen this trick before, first performed by the wonderful travel adventure filmmaker Stan Midgley. All it takes is some cotton that you stick to the window of your car and shoot the flowers through the window…


    September 26, 2016 at 10:42 AM

    • Well, I guess cotton would get around the problems of having to deal with clouds’ movements. At least for still pictures, you’d have better control if you added a layer to an image and pasted in clouds from another image.

      As a television commercial used to say (almost): I made my photograph the old-fashioned way, I earned it.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 26, 2016 at 11:08 AM

  3. Yellow flowers against a blue sky invariably make me smile. Throw in this sort of cloud, and there’s even more to smile about. Of course, senna’s a fine subject. When I found my first outside Medina last October, it was overcast and dim — no blue skies there — but even in those conditions, the flowers fairly glowed.

    Your comment about making your photograph the old-fashioned way tickled me. Let’s just say I’ve recently seen the truth of the proposition that “it’s the photographer, not the equipment” in action. Even people with cameras and lenses worth thousands hanging around their necks could profit by adding a little patience to the mix.


    September 27, 2016 at 5:05 AM

    • I remember your mentioning Lindheimer’s senna in a comment. I like the flowers and the soft leaflets but I wish the plant smelled better; I find its odor unpleasant. The hairs on the leaflets, by the way, are good at holding raindrops and dewdrops in place.

      There are people who accumulate cameras and lenses and other kinds of photo equipment for their own sake, but for me they’ve always been the means to an end: the pictures they deliver.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 27, 2016 at 7:35 AM

  4. I really like this composition, Steve. I also like the Rooster, Arabian stallion, and the stalking cat I found in the clouds! Images from L to R are Roo and Stallion in lower cloud formations and cat almost dead center. I might have made you search, but realize that cloud spotting is quite subjective. 😀


    September 27, 2016 at 9:25 AM

    • Someone’s sure powered up on pareidolia this morning! Might it be Lynda? I can see the rooster and the stallion but the cat still eludes me. You probably had fun as a kid (or even now) with those puzzles where you have to find the hidden objects in a drawing.

      In any case, I’m glad you like the composition.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 27, 2016 at 10:06 AM

      • I am, I did, and I do. LOL! The cat is just off center right and is slinking up to her victim… if that helps.


        September 27, 2016 at 10:24 AM

  5. What great fortune to have that nice parade of puffy clouds to complement the lovely yellow flowers and blue sky. An altogether pleasing composition.

    Steve Gingold

    September 29, 2016 at 3:19 AM

  6. I can see the rooster and the stallion but the harder I look for the cat the more it seems to me that the senna flowers are straining their necks to see what is in the clouds, too.


    September 29, 2016 at 5:37 AM

    • We could say that the cat’s got our tongues. You’ve made up for it by anthropomorphizing the senna.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 29, 2016 at 7:50 AM

  7. […] last saw Lindheimer’s senna from some distance as a flowering colony with clouds and blue sky behind it. Now here’s a closer look at a few flowers of Senna lindheimeriana. The yellow in the […]

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