Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Colors and textures of native grasses

with 8 comments


Native grasses provide subtle visual delights in Austin near the end of the year. This November 23rd photograph shows a backlit group of little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) in the southwestern fringe of my Great Hills neighborhood.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 3, 2017 at 4:53 AM

Posted in nature photography

Tagged with , , , ,

8 Responses

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  1. Before reading a word, I knew what this was, and it was like finding an old friend on your pages. I do love the grasses. Here’s something you might not know about little bluestem. If you pluck a healthy bunch from a December ditch, bring it home, and put it in a vase, it will keep for four years without losing a bit of its fluff or color. (Granted, I try not to shake it around too much when cleaning.)


    January 3, 2017 at 6:47 AM

    • You’re right: I had no idea that a bunch of little bluestem plucked at this stage and could last four years if not jostled. Unlike me, and like you, members of the Kansas Native Plant Society did know: “Flowering or seeding stalks make attractive additions to both flower bouquets and dried plant arrangements.”

      I also didn’t know, till a search turned up the page at


      that the Kansas legislature in 2010 designated little bluestem the state’s official grass.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 3, 2017 at 8:14 AM

  2. As it happens, I have in mind an abstract of native grasses, just as soon as the commission currently on my easel is complete. It tickles me how often we are on the same wavelength.


    January 3, 2017 at 8:07 AM

    • In this case it must be the “amber waves of grain” that created the shared wavelength. I’ll bet little bluestem could even be used to tickle someone.

      We look forward to seeing your abstraction of native grasses.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 3, 2017 at 8:21 AM

      • A commission I’ve been working on for weeks is finally done (pending the client’s approval) so the grass is under way! Oh, I do love a fresh canvas.


        January 11, 2017 at 8:07 AM

  3. Very nice Steve! We forget there is beauty in small things and even in winter!

    Andy Oldham

    January 3, 2017 at 8:37 AM

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