Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Can you say colors?

with 35 comments

Along TX 123 south of Seguin on March 18th.

Magenta = Phlox spp.
Yellow = Texas groundsel (Senecio ampullaceus)
Blue = Bluebonnets (probably Lupinus subcarnosus)

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 23, 2019 at 4:44 AM

35 Responses

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  1. wow


    March 23, 2019 at 5:12 AM

    • That’s Texas in the spring for you.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 23, 2019 at 5:36 AM

      • Yesterday I went on a “discovery drive”, to see if I could find wildflowers, but I was disappointed: not many to be seen (yet). I was wondering if it’s too early still or if it is because of our dry winter.


        March 23, 2019 at 9:41 AM

        • If you can spare the time this week, I’d urge you to go south of San Antonio, to places like Pleasanton and Poteet, where the wildflowers are currently fabulous. Like your area, Austin hasn’t done a lot so far, but the wildflower wave may still break from south to north. At least I hope it will.

          Steve Schwartzman

          March 23, 2019 at 10:16 AM

          • I’ll have to go down to our old place in Karnes City next week. So I will be down south, and I hope to see some gorgeous displays of wildflowers. And maybe a detour to that cemetery in New Berlin will be possible, too.


            March 23, 2019 at 10:25 AM

            • For your sake, I hope so. I was going to mention Karnes City, knowing your connection to it, but I didn’t get that far south and can’t attest to how good the wildflowers might be there.

              Steve Schwartzman

              March 23, 2019 at 10:30 AM

              • Quite often there’s a wonderful wildflower field at the intersection of US 181 and 775. Let’s hope for the best. And normally the driveway to our old place is full of lovely wildflowers, but this year, unfortunately, much has been ruined by the trucks driving in and out with the remodelling.


                March 23, 2019 at 10:37 AM

                • Let’s hope there’s still plenty in that area. If not, you still have the other places we’ve already mentioned. Even US 281 south of San Antonio’s I-410 loop had good places.

                  Steve Schwartzman

                  March 23, 2019 at 10:48 AM

                • Thx for the info! 🙂


                  March 23, 2019 at 10:53 AM

                • Gern geschehen.

                  Steve Schwartzman

                  March 23, 2019 at 10:58 AM

                • Danke!


                  March 23, 2019 at 11:42 AM

  2. How about I sing “De Colores” instead? Yesterday, those colors persuaded me that if two days is good, three days would be better. What an amazing spring.


    March 23, 2019 at 6:41 AM

    • That’s great. I’m also thinking of going back out for another day this coming week for the reason you mentioned: what an amazing spring.

      If memory serves, I learned “De Colores” in the Peace Corps training program in San Diego in 1967.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 23, 2019 at 6:47 AM

  3. Now you’re just showing off! 🙂


    March 23, 2019 at 9:11 AM

    • Well, Texas has done that for a long time. This reminds me of an Impressionist or perhaps Pointillist painting.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 23, 2019 at 9:54 AM

      • It sure does.


        March 24, 2019 at 8:17 AM

  4. Amazing. Where would you rate this year on a list of Texas-springs-I’ve-seen?

    Robert Parker

    March 23, 2019 at 9:27 AM

    • In Austin things aren’t that spectacular, though they still might become so. In the broad arc below San Antonio, though, I was told they’re having the best wildflower season in 10 years, and everything I saw on Monday’s trip confirmed it. On Thursday we drove farther west into that swathe and saw plenty more fields of dense wildflowers.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 23, 2019 at 10:09 AM

    • Also see Pit’s reply, above. He’s in Fredericksburg, about 80 miles NNW of San Antonio.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 23, 2019 at 10:11 AM

  5. Gorgeous, Steve. A wonderful, vibrant spring this year.

    Jane Lurie

    March 23, 2019 at 9:52 AM

    • Yes, especially in the swathe across the southern reaches of San Antonio. On first one and then another day-trip there this past week I saw way more than I had time to photograph, but still worked for hours and hours taking hundreds of pictures at the places where I did stop.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 23, 2019 at 10:27 AM

  6. What a bobby-dazzler! I wonder if it is too early for me to go seeking wild flowers along the coast.


    March 23, 2019 at 3:12 PM

    • Of course I understood the dazzler part but the compound as a whole was new to me. I shouldn’t be surprised, because the dictionary says it’s a Britishism. Here’s the etymology it gives: “Mid 19th century (originally northern English dialect): related to dazzle; the origin of the first element is unknown.”

      As for wildflowers along your coast, I’ve been hearing about winters in Britain being warmer recently than traditionally, so maybe spring will indeed come early.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 23, 2019 at 4:48 PM

  7. For once, I think the superbloom in Antelope Valley is even more colorful than Texas, or is at least comparable.
    I do not remember the species of bluebonnets that I grew, but that name does not sound familiar. That is something that I want to grow again. I will not do it this year, but I need to do it again eventually, just for bragging rights.


    March 24, 2019 at 8:03 PM

    • Lupinus subcarnosus is one of five species that grow in Texas. It’s not the most widespread, and the name sandyland bluebonnet tells you what kind of soil it grows on. I observed in various places down there that the ground was in fact very sandy.

      For your sake, I hope the wildflowers in Antelope Valley are indeed at least on a par with what south-central Texas has been experiencing.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 24, 2019 at 9:30 PM

  8. Yet another source for my jealousy, maybe envy is a better word. So much color.

    Steve Gingold

    March 25, 2019 at 6:32 PM

  9. A perfect smile-inducer. 🙂


    March 29, 2019 at 8:52 PM

    • I used to teach mathematical induction. Smile induction wasn’t in the curriculum but now I’m happy to take up that extracurricular activity.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 29, 2019 at 9:08 PM

  10. Identification of these groundsels/ragworts has been driving me nuts. I just figured out that some of them have been taken out of the genus Senecio and plunked into Packera, like the P. plattensis I found near Willow City. I found this page that helped to make some sense of it all, and it has information about other genera as well.


    April 6, 2019 at 11:21 AM

    • Marshall Enquist, from whose book I learned about three local species in 1999, still listed them all as Senecio. Some years ago I became aware that botanists had changed two of them to Packera. The flowers are all similar, so for me it’s the leaves that clinch the identification. You obviously can’t tell anything from the photograph in this post, but I got close looks at the plants and decided from the leaves that these were Texas groundsel. It was rampant across the area south of San Antonio on our three visits.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 6, 2019 at 12:19 PM

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