Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

First native wildflowers from Austin in 2017

with 16 comments


On a couple of recent walks I’d been hoping to spot some four-nerve daisies because Tetraneuris linearifolia can be found flowering here in any month of the year. Yesterday along Tom Miller Street near an edge of the Mueller Prairie Restoration I finally came across a few. This is a species I’ve photographed many times and shown here often enough, so the challenge was to take a different approach. For this portrait I lay on the ground so I could get some oblique blades of grass as a background. That also allowed the shadows of some blades to fall on the flowers and reinforce the grid-like pattern of the picture as a whole.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 29, 2017 at 5:00 AM

16 Responses

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  1. Even the nerves play into the cross-hatching. The color, the grasses in the background, and the interplay of sunlight and shadow suggest a summer day more than a January afternoon. It’s just lovely.


    January 29, 2017 at 6:48 AM

    • The brisk wind more than offset the sunshine, so no body (literally) would have felt the day as summery.

      I’d thought of mentioning that the nerves added to the grid but decided to leave that open for a commenter to point out, which you just did.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 29, 2017 at 7:04 AM

  2. Excellent!!! Nice to see 2017 flowers at the end of January, too.


    January 29, 2017 at 8:00 AM

  3. Wildflowers already?! WOW! Does this mean we’ll get spring without having had a winter?
    Have a great Sunday,


    January 29, 2017 at 9:34 AM

    • For the 18 or so years I’ve been paying attention to native plants in Austin, it hasn’t been unusual to find a few wildflowers in January. I’d say it’s the norm whenever we’ve had a mild winter. On the other hand, wildflowers that come up in January and February are still subject to freezes.

      It’s also common at this time of year for non-native wildflowers like henbit and shepherd’s purse to appear. I’ve already seen both this month. My longstanding “explanation” is that those plants, which evolved with a European climate but now grow here, get confused by Texas’s warm winter temperature and think they’re back in the Old Country in April.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 29, 2017 at 9:55 AM

      • Well, this here native German gets confused, too, with what is called “winter” hereabouts! 😉


        January 29, 2017 at 10:37 AM

  4. The shadowing is exquisite .. I need to get on the ground more often


    February 1, 2017 at 12:27 PM

    • That low point of view often pays off. I carry a pad around with me to make lying on the ground a softer experience, and you may want to do the same if you experiment with pictures from down low.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 1, 2017 at 1:57 PM

      • I often lay down in the sand .. interesting outcome given it is black 😃


        February 2, 2017 at 4:02 AM

        • The underside of things can be dark, no question. Software can usually lighten that up, at least to a certain point. What I often take advantage of from below is translucence.

          Steve Schwartzman

          February 2, 2017 at 6:17 AM

  5. I like how it is as though we are looking over their shoulders; into the new year, perhaps?


    March 2, 2017 at 3:15 PM

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