Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Now here’s a simple emblem of the sun

with 32 comments

Iambic pentameter for the title; Helianthus annuus for the sunflower; Capital of Texas Highway for the place; June 24th for the date. Now, two months later, sunflower plants can still be seen blooming here and there around Austin.

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 20, 2018 at 5:59 PM

32 Responses

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  1. I always like to see the backside of a flower as well as the front. Sometimes that is a more interesting view but, of course, not of a sunflower. Still nice to see.

    Steve Gingold

    August 20, 2018 at 6:06 PM

    • I like sunflowers from the front, the back, the edge, in whole, in part, or in any other ingenious way I can think of to photograph them.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 20, 2018 at 7:00 PM

  2. Such a beautiful photo. Early in the summer, I lost my 8 foot tall sunflower to the wind. It was a heartbreaking moment.


    August 20, 2018 at 6:39 PM

  3. Gorgeous capture, Steve!

    Jane Lurie

    August 20, 2018 at 6:53 PM

  4. and i love them so !


    August 20, 2018 at 6:54 PM

  5. Nice crispy detail Steve!


    August 20, 2018 at 8:26 PM

    • This one is crispy rather than wispy.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 20, 2018 at 9:11 PM

      • Do think I should have said ‘crisp’?


        August 21, 2018 at 12:41 PM

        • Yes, I guess I was thinking of food! It’s ‘crisp’.


          August 21, 2018 at 12:54 PM

          • Crispy has become common, though some people consider it an unnecessary variant of crisp, which usually means the same thing. In any case, I was glad that crispy gave me the chance to make a rhyme with wispy.

            Steve Schwartzman

            August 21, 2018 at 1:18 PM

  6. fresh as a daisy, and crisp as a sunflower

    Robert Parker

    August 20, 2018 at 9:44 PM

    • Well, daisies and sunflowers are in the same botanical family. Did you know that daisy started out as the poetic metaphor ‘day’s eye’?

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 20, 2018 at 9:49 PM

      • No, I didn’t, that’s great, I’ll remember that

        Robert Parker

        August 20, 2018 at 9:50 PM

        • I’m always happy to tell people that. A similar metaphor is window. Look at the Word History paragraph at the bottom of


          Steve Schwartzman

          August 20, 2018 at 9:55 PM

          • If I could cast my eye out the window and see this sunflower I would be most happy. I would also be happy if, from my window, I could see a whale road.


            August 21, 2018 at 7:23 AM

            • A sunflower I can give you, at least for half the year here. Looking out my window, I’ll never have a sea steed or whale road to photograph. A half-hour’s drive from your home, but not mine, will bring both of those into view.

              Steve Schwartzman

              August 21, 2018 at 8:26 AM

  7. Now, that is a dazzler of a photo. Makes the hairs stand up on the back of one’s stem (if you’re a sunflower, that is)!

    Susan Scheid

    August 21, 2018 at 8:36 PM

    • I like your dazzling crossing of kingdoms between stem and neck. (And if I can get dazzled off onto a tangent, “neck” rhymed me into realizing we can’t say “I’m at your call and beck.”)

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 21, 2018 at 8:53 PM

  8. And it is gorgeous.


    August 22, 2018 at 3:50 PM

  9. The balance between the sepals and the ray flowers is perfect. There’s enough detail visible in the sepals to allow their symmetry to shine; it’s so attractive.

    It’s great to see such a pristine specimen, too. I’ve not been out and about much recently, but most of the sunflowers I’m seeing now are looking a little forlorn. The Maximilian and swamp sunflowers may be appearing, though, and I just haven’t seen them.


    August 22, 2018 at 6:22 PM

    • Here in Austin it’s not unusual for a few Maximilian sunflowers to appear by the end of August, so it wouldn’t seem strange if the same holds near the coast. The swamp sunflower stops a couple of counties short of here; don’t know if I’ve ever seen one. Good luck finding and photographing both.

      This sunflower was one in a stand by a stand, so to speak. Every summer a farm sets up a roadside stand on the Capital of Texas Highway, coincidentally next to a stand of sunflowers. I was on my way back from the cliff that provided pictures of ferns and seep formations when I made a last stop to see what I could do with sunflowers. Because I’d been away for a few weeks, I hadn’t yet photographed a single sunflower for 2018.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 22, 2018 at 7:43 PM

  10. Sunsational!


    August 24, 2018 at 12:56 PM

  11. One of my favourite flowers .. great shot Steve


    August 25, 2018 at 1:18 AM

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