Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Southern dewberry flower and opening bud

with 34 comments

Rubus trivialis; Great Hills Park; March 29. If crinkles are your thing, this flower’s for you.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman


Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 7, 2018 at 4:47 AM

34 Responses

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  1. It would go very nicely with one of my other favourite crinkles; the crinkle crankle wall https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crinkle_crankle_wall which I am sure I have mentioned before because I think it is such a wonderful thing. Apparently Thomas Jefferson thought highly of it too.


    April 7, 2018 at 6:21 AM

    • When I went to the Comments section of my WP Admin and did a search for “crinkle,” the only comment of yours that turned up was today’s. Perhaps you mentioned it on your blog. Or maybe I’m psychic: the next-to-the-last version of this post had “If crinkles crank you up…” When proofreading before posting, I thought that was too much and changed it to the current version. From what you say, there’s no doubt that crinkles crank you up, especially in crinkle crankle walls.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 7, 2018 at 7:29 AM

      • Definitely. And if I could I would have my own crinkle crankle wall. I am sure it would be resilient in an earthquake.


        April 7, 2018 at 8:52 AM

        • That’s a consideration—unfortunately apt, given your history—that I hadn’t thought about.

          Steve Schwartzman

          April 7, 2018 at 9:24 AM

  2. What a gorgeous image – I love the blurred background – really helps the blossoms pop! I never noticed a crinkly look to dewberry blossoms – I’ll have to investigate this more closely when our patches of them begin to flower. We have a few nice spreads of them on the south border of the orchard. It seems like last year they were flowering about the same time that I began picking wild onions – which are also scattered about in the south part of the orchard. I looked back at last year’s photos, and indeed, it was May where both the dewberries and wild onions were thriving.


    April 7, 2018 at 7:48 AM

    • I’m pleased that you appreciate the image. I’d put it in the world of art photography, where the intent is to go beyond a mere representation of something. The leaves are also part of the dewberry plant but the fact that they’re out of focus, as you mentioned, leaves the viewer’s attention on the flower and bud. The rest of the background being black reinforces that.

      What a difference being 7 hours north of Austin makes. By May, our dewberries are already laden with fruit, and the flowers are just a white memory till the next spring.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 7, 2018 at 8:11 AM

      • It’s interesting for me to have news 7 hours north of me in Nebraska where most of my family lives, to note the differences in plant life from what we have here. Usually, I find it 3 to 4 weeks behind what we see. That’s just about right when I compare to what’s going on in your neck of the woods.


        April 7, 2018 at 8:22 AM

        • That difference came home to us last year. Near the end of April we’d traveled to Kansas City for a wedding and planned to continue north to Nebraska and South Dakota. We kept checking the weather forecast and found it so bleak and cold that we returned to Austin and waited a month. By then things up north had become pleasant, so off we went.

          Steve Schwartzman

          April 7, 2018 at 8:45 AM

          • We have a wedding in Nebraska next week, and then next month a graduation…. it’s always fun to see the contrast, although not so great to have to pack warmer clothes for the still cold or cooler weather up north. I’m always happy to come home to Oklahoma! I love the warm/hot temps!


            April 7, 2018 at 8:55 AM

            • Will you be close enough to the rugged western part of Nebraska to hop over there for a bit of sightseeing?



              Steve Schwartzman

              April 7, 2018 at 9:28 AM

              • My family is in the surrounding York area in the SE part of the state. I do have an elderly friend in Chadron who I would love to visit – that would take me closer to the area links you sent. It’s more than 6 hours from my family to head that direction… but Forrest has never been in that part of Nebraska so it would be well worth an extended trip!


                April 7, 2018 at 9:32 AM

                • We passed through Chadron on our way north from Scottsbluff to the Black Hills. If we’d been able to go north from Kansas City, we probably wouldn’t have seen the scenic things in those two links. Starting all over from Austin, we kept further west, coming up through the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles and far eastern Colorado. I’m glad we did. You say Forrest has never been to western Nebraska, and you may not have been there for a long time, so I’d urge you to go. You’ll already be in the state, so what’s an extra half-day to get to the scenic stuff? In addition to the two places linked above, we also spent time at Agate Fossil Beds, which has a good museum in addition to the site itself:


                  Steve Schwartzman

                  April 7, 2018 at 9:55 AM

                • Just be alert for this.

                  Steve Schwartzman

                  April 7, 2018 at 10:03 AM

  3. It’s a photo to try to emulate because the center is so sharp and vivid. I think I will be saying “crinkle” all day. It’s onomatopoeic if that is a word, but not in relation to the photo. It is interesting that some petals emerge smooth and these emerge crinkly; I’d guess they must be quite small. Maybe I can work on some daffodil centers and see if I can achieve some clarity. It isn’t that easy for me. 😉

    Dianne Lethcoe

    April 7, 2018 at 8:01 AM

    • Once again I’ll give the credit to my good macro lens, which provides the up-close sharpness you appreciated. Depth of field with a macro lens is shallow, so things closer and farther than what’s focused on shed their details quickly and leave the attention on the subject. Good luck portraying your daffodils.

      You asked about size: dewberry flowers typically measure an inch across. My impression, which would have to be confirmed or disproved with a study, is that the petals start out crinkled and then smooth out to varying degrees.

      “Onomatopoeic” is indeed a word. So is “synesthetic,” which refers to a crossing of the senses, as for example when someone associates a texture with a sound. Words like “bang” and “zoom” are onomatopoeic, but “crinkle” apparently isn’t. Surprisingly, at least to me, it turns out to be akin to “cringe.”

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 7, 2018 at 8:39 AM

  4. I didn’t notice until this year that some dewberry blossoms have that tinge of pink you show here, while others don’t. The buds at the Dudney Nature Center all were pinkish this year, but over at the San Bernard refuge, there were ditches and fields filled with pure white buds and flowers.

    I do love the crinkliness: so like the white prickly poppy. I just found the photo of my all-time favorite dewberry blossom in my files; it has thirteen petals. Very fancy!

    On March 30, I found a whole field of dewberries that had turned red, just off FM 2004, along Hall’s Bayou. They weren’t ripe, but they were working on it.


    April 7, 2018 at 5:53 PM

    • The tinge of pink seems to imply that the capacity for some degree of red is genetically present. What triggers it would have to be determined. And speaking of red, you surprised me by saying that you’ve already seen dewberry fruits well on the way to ripening. Your area is again way ahead of ours, where many dewberry vines haven’t finished flowering yet.

      I don’t think I’ve ever seen 13 petals on a dewberry flower. Sounds like a subject for a post.

      As for crinkliness, I’d stopped to photograph a white prickly poppy that had flowered early. Its lone flower turned out to be bedraggled, but near it I found the dewberries that provided this post’s picture.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 7, 2018 at 10:32 PM

      • Let me amend what I wrote. While wandering this afternoon I found some dewberry plants with fruits already forming, though they were green rather than the red you saw. The gap is closing.

        Steve Schwartzman

        April 8, 2018 at 9:20 PM

  5. Beautiful blossom! We’re still getting snow here.


    April 7, 2018 at 9:33 PM

    • I can’t say I’m surprised. We postponed our trip to South Dakota last year at the end of April because of snow and freezing temperatures at your latitude.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 7, 2018 at 10:33 PM

  6. Beautiful macro shot, Steve! Great spring blossom!!


    April 8, 2018 at 4:28 AM

  7. It’s interesting how an image or aroma can trigger strong memories! Just the ‘thought’ of dewberry blossoms and fruit has the power to propel me backwards in time; I am again that wild-Indian tomboy, riding her horse to inspect the dewberries that cloak the fences on the far sides of wheat and cotton fields – or they grow along the pastures by the levee. My fingers are stained by the oh-so healthy snacks, all gratis thanks to Mother Nature, though their health benefits did not play into my joy! Mother always warned, ‘watch out for water moccasins!’ and I always did, though never saw one in the brambles.

    Thanks for this much-appreciated visit to my childhood!

    • Shades of Proust: “It’s interesting how an image or aroma can trigger strong memories!” His madeleine is your dewberry. Have you painted scenes from your childhood like what you just described? If so, can you point us to any that are online?

      Like you, I’ve nibbled dewberries when I’ve been out in nature, usually in May. I have the impression most people here don’t know what they are and that they’re good to eat. More for me.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 8, 2018 at 12:22 PM

      • Yes, more for you! The scenes from my past were painted long ago – before digital photography, and before an ultra-humid tropical environment destroyed old photos. I drew/painted mules with the leather ‘bridles’ though they weren’t like the bridles and bits we used with the horses.. and painted the ‘Delta Cotton Farm’ type landscapes, flatlands, willow trees, cotton fields/trailers, shotgun houses… also flooded timbers, wood ducks, mallards in flight.. no one would recognize that as my work now, though about a year ago my son sent an email with a photo attached and he said, ‘i stepped off an elevator at such and such bank, and there in the foyer was this painting…’ and it was a painting i had done of a huge ‘spray’ of just-cut zinnias in an old tin bucket – smaller at the base than at the top.. i’ll have to see if i can find that image!

        • Oh, less, not more: I’m sorry to hear about the tropics destroying your old photos. And other losses, or maybe they represent a gain now, are the styles in which you once created. They’d still be fun to see if you can find any.

          In Texas I still come across an occasional reference to a shotgun house, a far cry from the modern suburban ones that have relentlessly been going up around Austin.

          Steve Schwartzman

          April 9, 2018 at 5:02 AM

          • Yes, the new buildings often lack a soul, but those shotgun houses definitely have character!

            • Yeah, shotgun houses are a blast.

              Steve Schwartzman

              April 10, 2018 at 4:12 PM

              • As are you!!! Thanks for the fun smiles you share with us – especially when we also learn new words and trivia!!!

                • You’re welcome on all counts. You can count on it.

                  Speaking of trivia, that word comes from Latin for an intersection with three roads (tres vías) leading into it. Apparently such intersections were so common they were of little interest, hence trivial.

                  Steve Schwartzman

                  April 10, 2018 at 8:39 PM

  8. You made me smile, thank you! So funny. I think I posted one of our Rubus’ recently – the pink one, Salmonberry (R. spectabilis). It’s blooming now, and a white one, R. parvifloris, blooms much later. It’s white, but only a little crinkled….yours makes me think of those huge poppies…Matilija poppy….which are sometimes planted in gardens here. Way bigger, but also crinkled in a delightful way. It does make one wonder why the crinkles, or why not, in those without crinkled petals.


    April 10, 2018 at 1:18 PM

  9. Nothing trivial about this beauty, I think.


    April 23, 2018 at 8:40 AM

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