Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Orange is the color of Alibates

with 16 comments

A year ago today we spent some time at the Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument in the Texas Panhandle. You could say orange is a predominant color of the place. Yucca glauca, known as soapweed yucca, plains yucca, and narrowleaf yucca, is the predominant yucca in the area.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 27, 2018 at 4:41 AM

16 Responses

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  1. I wonder if that wonderfully colored rock is used in pigment at all.


    May 27, 2018 at 8:37 AM

    • That’s a good question for a painter to ask. I wish I knew the answer.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 27, 2018 at 9:28 AM

      • I’ve probably already told you about the woman who has created a business out of sourcing pigments from the earth. She is an artist, and when she was expecting a child she became aware of all the toxic chemicals that are in paints. She literally started going out and scraping at rocks to get pigments! Over the years the range of colors she offers has expanded and is quite extraordinary.


        May 29, 2018 at 7:36 AM

        • You might say she was reinventing the wheel; I’m thinking of how various peoples over the centuries used ochre and other natural substances to create designs.

          Steve Schwartzman

          May 29, 2018 at 10:12 PM

          • Certainly. But she is providing a real service to the rest of us artists too lazy to go out and scrape rocks ourselves. I buy her pigments and mix them with black walnut oil and that’s all there is to it. No toxic chemicals at all.


            May 30, 2018 at 9:42 AM

  2. Beautiful place! The second pic looks like a work of art!


    May 27, 2018 at 9:51 AM

  3. Really nice work, Steve. I particularly like the intimate rock quasi-abstract.


    May 27, 2018 at 11:47 AM

    • Thanks. I like the way you put it: quasi-abstract. Did you know that quasi is Latin for “as if”?

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 27, 2018 at 12:12 PM

      • As a matter of fact, I do. (I looked up the word origin years ago for reasons I can no longer remember.)


        May 27, 2018 at 3:25 PM

  4. I was just about to ask what those yuccas on top are.


    May 27, 2018 at 3:13 PM

  5. Every time I come across “Alibates,” I read it as “Ali Baba.” Now I’m thinking that Ali Baba and the Forty Weeds might have possibilities. Of course the premise would have to be that Ali Baba discovers a hidden land and learns that so-called weeds, like this yucca, actually are a treasure. As a matter of fact, he might see those embedded stones from the second photo as gems — which they surely are.


    May 28, 2018 at 5:56 AM

    • And when I first came across the name I read it as if it were Spanish, in four syllables, with the same rhythm as Ali Baba. Fortunately I didn’t find forty kinds of “weeds” there, except in the sense you suggested of unappreciated native plants. You were on an optimistic track yesterday morning, even to having stones become jewels.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 29, 2018 at 5:59 AM

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