Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Appropriate for the occasion

with 32 comments

Because red and green and snow and holly will speak to many of you today, here’s another picture of a yaupon holly (Ilex vomitoria) in Great Hills Park the morning after the rare snow that fell on December 7th.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 25, 2017 at 12:22 AM

Posted in nature photography

Tagged with , , , , , , ,

32 Responses

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    December 25, 2017 at 2:44 AM

  2. A happy happy ‘holly’day.


    December 25, 2017 at 5:16 AM

    • An appropriate thing to say indeed. I hope your Christmas, which ended three hours ago, was a happy one. Here it’s just 8 in the morning on the 25th.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 25, 2017 at 7:55 AM

      • Quiet and peaceful, it was, but I like Boxing Day better because it’s even quieter and nothing needs doing.


        December 25, 2017 at 4:42 PM

        • Over here, Boxing Day sounds anything but peaceful and quiet because Americans think of the kind of boxing that involves fists.

          Steve Schwartzman

          December 25, 2017 at 4:46 PM

  3. merry Christmas to all.


    December 25, 2017 at 5:18 AM

  4. It’s wonderful that the snow came early enough in the year that the berries hadn’t been stripped by the birds, and that our intrepid photographer was out and about before the sun’s warmth melted the snow. The image reminds me again of William Morris, that creator of complex patterns that never seemed crowded or overdone.


    December 25, 2017 at 5:53 AM

    • He had a real touch, didn’t he? I love to see it.


      December 25, 2017 at 7:59 AM

      • I mentioned to Linda that I followed her lead and searched for holly in William Morris’s works but couldn’t find any.

        Steve Schwartzman

        December 25, 2017 at 8:28 AM

    • I thought the prediction for 32° as the overnight low offered a chance for frostweed ice this morning. When I checked the outside thermometer after getting up, it said 38°. Not close enough, I’m afraid, to trudge down to Great Hills Park.

      There’s a yaupon tree right outside the window of the room I’m typing in. I’ve never seen any birds go after the fruit (in contrast to the way I once saw a flock of cedar waxwings denude a possumhaw). I have occasionally seen a squirrel grab one of the small yaupon fruits, eat it, and continue on to grab and eat several more. You may remember this:


      You gave me the idea of searching to see whether I could find some holly in any of William Morris’s works. I couldn’t.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 25, 2017 at 8:18 AM

  5. So pretty, Steve. Merry Christmas!


    December 25, 2017 at 7:58 AM

  6. Happy Christmas!

    Anabel Marsh

    December 25, 2017 at 8:29 AM

    • Thanks, Anabel. The same to you and your family. As a northern European you’re used to snow, as I was when I grew up in New York. By contrast, down here in the warm world of central Texas, snow is a rare and magical thing.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 25, 2017 at 8:55 AM

  7. Lovely, bright photograph! While yaupon and privet put on beautiful berries, both plants tend to be invasive in our woodlands. When we invited a state biologist to survey our property for better white-tail management, he stated that many neighborhood ornamentals had become invasive in the natural woodlands and that they were of no value to wildlife. He suggested eradicating them by cutting them out and applying Tordon to kill the stump. But I have observed both birds and deer feasting off of the berries of both shrubs, and I also see that with privet, the deer tend to bed down under the cool cover in the summer months. I haven’t decided to cull them out just yet, but then maybe the project is just overwhelming and I am dragging my feet about addressing it. For now I will wait, and observe! They sure are pretty and add a splash of color in the winter woodlands.


    December 25, 2017 at 8:51 AM

    • Native plant people have disposed me to be anti-privet (and anti-nandina, another red-fruited plant that has escaped from cultivation and spread to the woods). From what you say, though, even such a nuisance has some benefit for local animals. That said, I’d still want to get rid of the privet, but I don’t have to incur the expense and put in the work that you’d have to. Could you get the Boy Scouts or some other civic group to take that on as an ecology project?

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 25, 2017 at 9:06 AM

  8. All you need is a redwing 🙂 Not sure if you know of Sarah’s lovely nature photography, but I am sure you’d love her birds.


    Wishing you and Mrs S a happy holiday and a wonderful 2018.


    December 25, 2017 at 9:41 AM

    • Thanks, Jude, and the same to you and yours as well from a sunny Austin.

      I do know of Sarah’s blog and have commented on it over the years. Speaking of blogs and comments and holidays and redwings, you may remember the cedar waxwing you commented on close to three years ago:


      Steve Schwartzman

      December 25, 2017 at 10:04 AM

      • Popped over for another look. I have never seen a waxwing, but I believe Sarah did last year. Not sure they ever make it to my part of the country. In fact there are far fewer birds around this winter so far.


        December 25, 2017 at 10:14 AM

        • Sorry to hear about your bird deprivation this winter.

          Your mention of a waxwing in the UK sent me to look up waxwings because I assumed the cedar waxwing is limited to North America. I learned that there are three species of waxwing and was surprised to find that the Bohemian waxwing lives in both North America and Eurasia:


          Steve Schwartzman

          December 25, 2017 at 10:36 AM

  9. Gorgeous. I looked and looked for red with the snow in Big Bend, but the only subject — a male pyrrhuloxia — flew away before I could shoot him. My luck! Enjoy your day, today, Steve. Cheers!


    December 25, 2017 at 11:01 AM

    • There’s enough red here for both of us, Shannon. The only thing that flew away, so to speak, was the snow.

      A happy day to all of you, too.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 25, 2017 at 11:12 AM

  10. […] May 1st we went walking in our neighborhood. A few blocks from home I noticed that a drupe from a yaupon tree (Ilex vomitoria) had fallen onto an agave and gotten caught in the crook of one of the […]

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