Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Creek views from Great Hills Park on January 24th

with 28 comments

Southern maidenhair ferns, Adiantum capillus-veneris, greened up a panel of creekside wall.

Mustang grape vines, Vitis mustangensis, hung near the shallow waterfall at what’s called the fish pool.

In the southern part of the park a whale of a gravel bar in the main creek conjured up Moby Dick.

After I walked to the gravel bar and looked back, these reflections waved my way.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 2, 2019 at 4:37 AM

28 Responses

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  1. The imagination runs wild….


    February 2, 2019 at 5:02 AM

  2. As kids, we couldn’t resist swinging across on those hanging vines. Feet would be wet, but hearts dry and happy. Looks like a nice hike to be had.


    February 2, 2019 at 6:15 AM

    • We’re fortunate to have this so close at hand. After the neighborhood got built in the 1980s (long before we lived here), some of the new residents worked with the developer to get leftover land deeded to the city as a park.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 2, 2019 at 7:11 AM

  3. Beautiful waving reflections.


    February 2, 2019 at 6:25 AM

    • The distortions that the wavy surface created fascinated me. Although I’d been often been to that area, this is the first time I remember photographing the reflections there.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 2, 2019 at 7:20 AM

  4. I have fallen in love with those lovely shades of green in the first photo… and the wavy water in the last image. Nicely done!


    February 2, 2019 at 6:48 AM

    • That steep embankment must have water seeping through it because the ferns there usually look vibrant. I think the only time I’ve seen them looking brown was during the intense drought of 2011. And yes, the wavy water was a highlight of my little outing.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 2, 2019 at 7:26 AM

  5. I’ll chime in regarding the wavy water and its suggestion of gently moving water. I could just lose myself gazing into that.


    February 2, 2019 at 8:04 AM

    • I lost myself there for a while, or more accurately found myself there for a while taking pictures of the wavy reflections from various angles. You won’t be surprised to hear that the details could be pretty different in photographs taken a few seconds apart.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 2, 2019 at 8:13 AM

      • They certainly can. Once, gazing at a stream and attempting to capture the moving reflections, I found I’d activated an animation function on the camera, so it was taking multiple shots. Looking at the frames later I was really taken by how different each ones, just milliseconds apart.


        February 2, 2019 at 8:27 AM

  6. Is mustang grape named for a region that it is endemic to, or just a misspelling of ‘muscadine’?


    February 2, 2019 at 10:13 AM

    • Presumably the grape was named after the wild mustangs that roamed in at least a part of the vine’s range, though I haven’t found any clear-cut documentation to corroborate that. Your suggestion that people might have corrupted the name muscadine is intriguing.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 2, 2019 at 11:01 AM

  7. These photos are real stunners (that’s a compliment one of my grandmothers used to use, and it just popped in my head). I would be very happy to relax and enjoy those ferns for a while, and as Melissa said, reflect on the patterns in the water.

    Robert Parker

    February 2, 2019 at 1:25 PM

  8. That’s quite a collection of life on that wall: ferns, mosses, and even a few vines working their way up. I really like the gravel bar. It’s so smooth and symmetrical. I can’t quite wrap my mind around the kind of flow that would desposit the rock in that way. I’d guess the flow would have come from the left, where the rock is more piled up than at the other end. It does leave the impression that Moby’s swimming upstream. See the tiny fin in the middle of his body, just at the water’s edge and beneath the horizontal stick?


    February 2, 2019 at 2:36 PM

    • If I’d been wearing my high waterproof boots, as I sometimes have done when visiting the first area shown, I’d have taken closer pictures of the ferns and mosses.

      In the “Moby Dick” picture, the creek does indeed flow from left to right. The steep cliff, which was worn into existence by the passing of the water over eons, is on the outside of a curve in the creek. As is usually the case, you’re good at “pareidolizing” a scene, in this case finding a fin for the whale.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 2, 2019 at 10:49 PM

  9. These are beautiful creek scenes. The reflection is outstanding.

    Lavinia Ross

    February 3, 2019 at 11:30 PM

    • The population within the Austin city limits is approaching one million, and yet just half a mile from home Great Hills Park provides scenes like these. I don’t remember previously photographing reflections quite like the ones in the last photo, which I’m pleased pleased you.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 4, 2019 at 4:39 AM

  10. Ooh, in this one the last shot is a variety of lipsticks. I am sure mine carry these ads in the emails also but I am resisting paying to not have them there. More nice reflections in the last image.

    Steve Gingold

    February 4, 2019 at 7:12 PM

    • Yeah, the tease at the end of your latest e-mail offers to tell me what popcorn does to my memory (honest). I’ve also just noticed that each time I click on the same WordPress e-mail the ad is different. Insidious. I hadn’t noticed before because I’m in the habit of clicking on the title right away to go straight to the online version of a post without paying attention to the e-mail version.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 4, 2019 at 9:33 PM

    • And yes, the reflections in the fourth picture fascinated me with the way they undulated and kept changing.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 4, 2019 at 9:34 PM

  11. […] from the places you saw a couple of posts ago, the main creek flows out of Great Hills Park and wanders through a golf course. Near Rain Creek […]

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