Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

If you’ve got it, flaunt it

with 29 comments

The “it” in this case is a wildflower in January. Here from yesterday afternoon is a flower head of goldeneye, Viguiera dentata, growing wild in my neighborhood.

If you’re interested in the craft of photography, this picture is an example of points 1, 2, and especially 6 in About My Techniques.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 5, 2019 at 4:52 AM

29 Responses

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  1. yay, for its perseverance


    January 5, 2019 at 5:33 AM

    • What’s interesting is that the bushes in this area had finished flowering. Then a few new flowers appeared this week, and did so around the same we had morning temperatures in the 30s. Close by were seed head remains from the earlier flowers.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 5, 2019 at 7:33 AM

  2. This time of year, a single spot of color really stands out, and yellow’s particularly cheerful. Even in January it’s worth going out to see what might be blooming, because something always is. Two days after last year’s hard freeze, I found a few asters blooming in Brazoria County. They weren’t exactly perky, but they were putting up a fine effort.


    January 5, 2019 at 7:55 AM

    • Your description of “not exactly perky” fits the goldeneye flower heads I saw. The ones a couple of months earlier were more vibrant and much more numerous. As you said, though, even single spots of color do stand out at this time of year. These goldeneye plants grow at the edge of a couple of streets in my neighborhood that I drive along practically every day. On the way home yesterday morning I noticed the flash of yellow and went back in the afternoon after sunlight had reached the plants.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 5, 2019 at 8:13 AM

  3. If I may change the subject, when do the earliest species of yucca start to bloom? Do they need warmth, or do they start in the winter? (Ours start to bold early, but take a while to actually bloom.) Are you familiar with the Glen Rose yucca, Yucca necopina? It has a very small range, although I do not think that it is rare within its range.


    January 5, 2019 at 11:39 AM

    • The most common yucca here, and an endemic one at that, is Yucca rupicola, which typically begins blooming in April.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 5, 2019 at 3:06 PM

      • Ah, of course. I grew only a few of those. They are gone now. It is a long and sad story. It probably blooms in April because it does not have too many flowers on each stalk.


        January 5, 2019 at 3:40 PM

        • And what flowers it does have are subject to deer chomping them off in my part of town.

          Steve Schwartzman

          January 5, 2019 at 4:39 PM

          • I’ve taken a few from the Yucca whipplei. We were starving students back then.


            January 5, 2019 at 8:15 PM

  4. Nice to see that there are flowers, however bedraggled, brightening up the winter clime….such as it exists in Texas.

    Steve Gingold

    January 5, 2019 at 2:32 PM

    • They’re sporadic and not lush, but at least they exist. Your “such as it exists” characterization of winter here is appropriate today: the outdoor thermometer reads 64° and the sun is shining in a clear blue sky.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 5, 2019 at 3:09 PM

  5. I’d love to see a bloom like this – fine image. Still wishing for colder weather up here in the northeast…


    January 5, 2019 at 4:01 PM

    • Good luck with that. In the event (as I think the British say), I’d gladly trade you for some snow and ice, just enough to turn my camera loose on them for a few days before retreating into our relative warmth.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 5, 2019 at 4:38 PM

  6. A stand out performer waiting to capture a photographer’s eye.


    January 6, 2019 at 4:02 AM

  7. I wish something was blooming here. We’re far enough north that all I could find on Thursday was a dried up blossom peeping through the snow. Hopefully, my editor (Forrest) goes over my post this morning, so I can show off my little flower. Ha ha! Lucky you to have a wonderful splash of yellow to show us!


    January 6, 2019 at 7:23 AM

    • You’ve raised an interesting question: how many of us have an editor other than ourselves? We’ll see how soon yours does his work.

      You are indeed far enough north of Austin that noticeably fewer flowers bloom in winter up there. On the other hand, you get more chances to see a little snow and ice than we do. That’s something I’d relish for the photo opportunities, though certainly not for the cold.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 6, 2019 at 8:13 AM

      • We were looking at game camera activity yesterday evening and even those photos were outstanding of the deer passing through, with a snowy background. I love the snow too, and ice. Forrest is still reading the sports news back here in the computer room. He was watching the Cowboys and Seahawks last night and “forgot” my post. Editing always seems to take a back seat to sports… which is frustrating to me!


        January 6, 2019 at 8:30 AM

        • Ah, so you did get some snow. The next time we get snow in Austin, which is maybe once every five years, I’ll see if I can get a picture of a deer in the snow, as deer are common in my neighborhood.

          Given that your comment was an hour ago, maybe your editor has had his fill of sports by now.

          Steve Schwartzman

          January 6, 2019 at 9:36 AM

          • Yes, and it took me another hour to get back to publishing it. We have had non-stop company to visit lately, so I’m doing the hostess bit in between writing!


            January 6, 2019 at 11:29 AM

  8. A beautiful January flower! Our only spots of gold like that right now are the occasional dandelion, growing low to the ground and blooming in more protected areas. It’s been a milder winter than normal here, so far.

    Lavinia Ross

    January 6, 2019 at 11:11 AM

    • And a welcome sight it was, even if it didn’t last. Let’s hope your milder-than-normal winter brings out some native wildflowers to balance the dandelions.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 6, 2019 at 11:19 AM

  9. Flaunt it! 😊 Nice shot Steve …


    January 9, 2019 at 1:26 PM

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