Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Like a green snake in the water

with 38 comments

The sinuous algae you see here looked to me on July 25th, and still today, like a green snake in the water of Bull Creek. Notice the tiny aquatic insects. The leaf may be from a cedar elm tree (Ulmus crassifolia).

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman


Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 15, 2017 at 4:37 AM

38 Responses

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  1. With apologies to Burl Ives, “little gray bugs swimming in the water, little gray bugs doing what they oughter..”


    September 15, 2017 at 5:34 AM

  2. I love this, Steve… absolutely! I see this on the walls in my home. Lovely capture.


    September 15, 2017 at 6:58 AM

    • Thanks, Lori. It’s not the kind of picture you’d often see on someone’s wall, so I appreciate your appreciating it.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 15, 2017 at 10:14 AM

  3. If you’d moved your camera just a little to the left, you might have caught an image of the water nymph whose long, green tresses were flowing with the water.


    September 15, 2017 at 7:05 AM

  4. This interesting photo inspired me to read a bit about algae, and learn a new word I like a lot, “filamentous”

    Robert Parker

    September 15, 2017 at 7:51 AM

    • I’ve always liked that word as well.


      September 15, 2017 at 8:59 AM

    • I did a little research as well and found this: “In the case of filamentous algae, single cells reproduce and join together into long hairlike strands or colonies that grow toward the water surface. By mid-summer, these strands form large mats that trap gases and float to the surface.”

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 15, 2017 at 10:19 AM

      • It’s such a great word, but very hard to work into conversation. If I use it to refer to my mother’s pasta, that doesn’t go over very well, maybe it’s the idea floating to the surface on trapped gases that she finds unpalatable.

        Robert Parker

        September 15, 2017 at 10:35 AM

        • Your mother might not cotton to the idea of green pasta, either, unless it was spinach pasta.

          Steve Schwartzman

          September 15, 2017 at 10:41 AM

  5. I quite like this. This summer my son and I saw a green snake in a natural area. We were excited because they are rare and so hard to spot. It looked just like grass on the move.


    September 15, 2017 at 9:02 AM

    • A snake appearing to be grass on the move: a fine subject for a drawing or painting, don’t you think?

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 15, 2017 at 10:23 AM

      • Maybe. He was a beautiful little thing but he looked so much like a stem of grass, and was the same size, I don’t know that it would work. Sounds like a challenge for Bev Doolittle.


        September 17, 2017 at 9:49 AM

        • I had to look her up.

          Steve Schwartzman

          September 17, 2017 at 11:24 AM

          • Happy sigh…isn’t her work neat?


            September 18, 2017 at 10:49 AM

            • Steve Schwartzman

              September 18, 2017 at 12:34 PM

              • I read a book about her (by her???) that spoke of her time driving around in a motorhome, painting and selling her work right from it. It left quite an impression, one I’m still turning over in my mind. If only my daughter were on board, so to speak.


                September 22, 2017 at 8:34 AM

                • It’s an enticing plan, but most likely a difficult one to make a go of.

                  Steve Schwartzman

                  September 22, 2017 at 8:41 AM

                • Yes, today it would. Plus she had her husband along. I don’t think it is something a woman alone should undertake these days.


                  September 24, 2017 at 7:17 AM

                • I hadn’t thought about the safety side of it.

                  Steve Schwartzman

                  September 24, 2017 at 10:56 AM

                • I keep hearing about very bad things happening to women who venture out into the world alone.


                  September 25, 2017 at 9:03 AM

                • Oh, too bad. Even I sometimes feel uneasy when I’m out wandering alone in the woods and come across evidence of homeless people living out there.

                  Steve Schwartzman

                  September 25, 2017 at 10:19 AM

                • I sometimes wonder whether it is arthritis or fear that keeps me out of the field these days. Happily I spent almost all of my younger years tramping through wild areas here and abroad so I have lots of memories to draw from. Still, when I read your adventuring posts I feel the old tug of the road…


                  September 27, 2017 at 8:50 AM

                • Maybe you can team up with like-minded people in your area and go into nature together. Of course that wouldn’t mitigate arthritis, although you might forget about it temporarily while talking to your hiking companions.

                  Steve Schwartzman

                  September 27, 2017 at 9:31 AM

                • As it happens I just saw where a healing walk is going to take place in a state park near here.


                  September 28, 2017 at 8:59 AM

                • Go for it!

                  Steve Schwartzman

                  September 28, 2017 at 9:21 AM

                • Definitely! I don’t imagine my arthritis will diminish, but the guided walk will surely be a good experience.


                  September 29, 2017 at 8:26 AM

  6. You are a good observer, Steve. That is a nice capture of the algal mass. It does look snake-like!

    Lavinia Ross

    September 15, 2017 at 12:18 PM

    • I see so many patterns, Lavinia, when I wander in nature. I’m glad to have people like you who appreciate them.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 15, 2017 at 12:20 PM

  7. Steve, I’ve decided my next colour-themed post is going to be about “green”. Would you permit me to use this image along with (5-9 other images that I’ll choose). I always credit to the photographer and provide clear links to original post and to the blog home. Pls let me know – thanks! You’ve managed a great detail shot that’s really interesting from what would normally be a fairly mundane subject!


    September 15, 2017 at 2:01 PM

    • Hi, Liz. Sure, go for the green.
      Regarding this image, I’m always on the lookout for the unusual in the mundane. We often don’t have to travel far to find such things, as in this photograph taken in my part of Austin.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 15, 2017 at 4:47 PM

  8. shucks; i was expecting a tamer version of that amazing rattlesnake image!
    yes, it does look like a snake!

    Playamart - Zeebra Designs

    September 27, 2017 at 9:04 AM

  9. […] Like a green snake in the water  |  Sept 15, […]

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