Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Floresville City Cemetery #2

with 61 comments

The fourth wildflower-covered burial ground we visited last month was the Floresville City Cemetery #2. Below you’ll see how it looked on March 27th. The red flowers are Indian paintbrushes, Castilleja indivisa, and the yellow are Nueces coreopsis, Coreopsis nuecensis. The white daisies may be in the genus Aphanostephus.

In the second photograph you can pick out several cream-colored paintbrushes. They’re not a different species, just a normal variant that springs up from time to time. Notice the misspelling of Floresville on James Gray’s tombstone. The flowers themselves are not misspelled. (UPDATE: I’ve found out a little more about the James Gray featured in the second picture.)

In some places sandyland bluebonnets (Lupinus subcarnosus) entered the mix.

Different color combinations prevailed in different places.

© Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 4, 2019 at 4:37 AM

61 Responses

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  1. They are all fabulous, but I love the James Gray headstone surrounded by the paintbrushes!


    April 4, 2019 at 4:45 AM

    • That second picture conveys human interest, and for you there’s also a connection to Britain. (Speaking of James Gray, in the text of the post I’ve just added a link to a little more information about him.)

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 4, 2019 at 6:43 AM

      • I overlooked the link on my first reading. Thanks for the redirect. This is an amazing series of postings, Steve. We have nothing like this in the Finger Lakes, but should.


        April 4, 2019 at 6:58 AM

        • Robert Parker, also of the Finger Lakes though currently in Milwaukee, made a similar comment recently about never having seen a cemetery in your part of the country that was anything like these densely wildflowered ones in Texas. I agree with the “should” that’s the last word in your comment. It should be the last word on the matter, period.

          Steve Schwartzman

          April 4, 2019 at 7:22 AM

  2. such beautiful colors


    April 4, 2019 at 5:02 AM

  3. Now, that’s density! They’re all quite wonderful, but I’m especially fond of the first two. Looking at them, I remembered that one difficulty at the Rockport cemetery was the near-impossibility of avoiding the surrounding houses, autos, or fencing in any kind of long shot. I wanted a photo of George Ware Fulton’s grave, but the choice for a background was either houses or chainlink.

    Also, I found an online video of the cemetery from the Corpus Christi tv station and realized that the height of the bloom was about two or three weeks before my visit. In the video, the flowers are as dense as those you show here: especially the bluebonnets.

    I made a trip down to the Broadway cemeteries in Galveston yesterday, just to check things out. There were some scattered patches of coreopsis, a few firewheels and white daisies, and just a few yellow primroses. I see from my files that the 2016 profusion was in May, so I’ll be keeping an eye on that place.


    April 4, 2019 at 7:12 AM

    • I’m sorry to hear about the difficulties you had in Rockport, and also that you now realize the peak there came two or three weeks before your visit. Maybe you’ll revisit earlier in the season next year. And I hope you’re right that the best time for the Broadway cemeteries in Galveston is yet to come: may May make for some floraltacular photos for you.

      In the other four cemeteries I visited, I had an easier time than here excluding unwanted elements. This cemetery sits with a main road on one side and a new, blocky apartment complex on another. My opening picture aims toward neither of those two sides. In other pictures I mostly aimed downward enough to exclude everything outside the cemetery.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 4, 2019 at 7:55 AM

    • By the way, since you singled out the first two pictures, my thinking is that if I’m going to include pictures with human elements, I’ll go for intriguing ones. The metal enclosure in the first photo adds graphic interest, and the tombstone in the second photo historical interest.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 4, 2019 at 8:42 AM

      • Exactly. My absolute favorite of my Rockport photos has a human element that intrigued the heck out of me. It will be up soon. I had no idea how long it was going to take to cull so many photos, or figure out how to present them.


        April 4, 2019 at 8:46 AM

        • I know what that’s like. I sometimes spend way too much time deciding which pictures to post, and in which order. In any case, Rockport photos here we come.

          Steve Schwartzman

          April 4, 2019 at 8:51 AM

  4. James Gray was a Scot! Absolutely stunning – I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a dense carpet of wildflowers.

    • Aye, you in Glasgow and he from Edinburg. And aye again to the dense wildflowers south of San Antonio this year. Texas knows how to put on a wildflower display.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 4, 2019 at 7:57 AM

  5. These are lovely…🥰


    April 4, 2019 at 8:19 AM

  6. I need to go on a cemetery tour next year.

    automatic gardener

    April 4, 2019 at 8:23 AM

    • Go for it. Facebook has a Texas Wildflowers group from which I learned about a couple of the wildflower-covered cemeteries I visited, including the one in this post.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 4, 2019 at 8:37 AM

  7. Far lovelier than the dreary cemetery I was unfortunately at yesterday for the father of a friend. He was a WWII vet, and so was buried with military honors~that was beautiful.


    April 4, 2019 at 9:04 AM

    • Then at least the human part was worthwhile. As for the cemeteries, of course I’m showing only the ones that were covered with wildflowers. Most cemeteries here are as drab as anywhere else in the country.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 4, 2019 at 9:15 AM

      • Yes, I figured that was probably the case. It is like our architecture. Everyone admires beautiful buildings, and yet when new ones go up, the builders go cheap and boring.


        April 5, 2019 at 8:11 AM

        • I was driving around in the northern suburbs yesterday and noticed how ugly and boxy some of the houses were. Your “cheap and boring” says it.

          Steve Schwartzman

          April 5, 2019 at 8:18 AM

  8. Surely the watercolorists of the area enjoy capturing those sprays of colors at peak bloom. The settings are very restful and surely a comfort to anyone who takes time to appreciate the beauty.

    • You’ve raised an interesting question. I wonder how one would go about finding painted versions (whether with watercolors or other media) of the cemetery covered with wildflowers. Everything I’ve seen online is a photograph. I guess we’ll just have to import you next spring to make sure we get some watercolors of this place.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 4, 2019 at 7:20 PM

      • That sounds like a great idea!

        I’ll bet there’s an art association there, and someone should suggest an ‘Art Day with the Wildflowers’ and invite artists to come paint for the day. I’ll bet an impressionistic painting of those scenes would be lovely!

        • You’re correct that various art groups do exist in Austin and San Antonio. Your ‘Art Day with the Wildflowers’ sounds like a good idea, though one difficulty in planning is that the wildflowers do what they want. Some years are better than others, and even in a given year the best-looking places and dates are unpredictable. Maybe a flash mob of artists would do the trick.

          Steve Schwartzman

          April 4, 2019 at 10:05 PM

  9. As Shoreacres says, all are wonderful, those first two are special.


    April 4, 2019 at 4:08 PM

    • So you and she share tastes here. The first two pictures certainly add human elements and human interest.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 4, 2019 at 7:40 PM

      • I think the wildflowers in the cemetery (or is it the other way around?) suggest a time when society was more comfortable with a natural state and also death.


        April 4, 2019 at 10:33 PM

  10. Wonderful wildflowers!


    April 4, 2019 at 4:40 PM

  11. These are stunning!!

    M.B. Henry

    April 4, 2019 at 5:24 PM

    • I’m fortunate to have visited five such cemeteries over just 10 days. That’s more than all previous years put together.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 4, 2019 at 7:44 PM

  12. All your photos are breathtakingly beautiful, Steve. I don’t think I have ever been surrounded by a similar sea of wildflowers. While Colorado has some of these species, they don’t seem to grow with similar abandon.


    April 4, 2019 at 9:43 PM

    • Now you have one more incentive to visit Texas in the spring. You can imagine how excited I was to take all these pictures. You would be too.

      A while ago I was thinking, as I’ve done many a time, that as lush as these wildflowers are in some places now, we know from historical accounts that they once covered much vaster territories at similar densities. That won’t return, but we can cherish what remains.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 4, 2019 at 9:55 PM

      • I have no doubt that I would be giddy with delight, Steve.

        You are looking at the glass as being half full, and that is probably a healthier attitude than viewing it the other way!


        April 4, 2019 at 10:19 PM

  13. A wonderful wilderness of wildflowers.


    April 5, 2019 at 7:16 AM

  14. What a beautiful place! The flowers that you have shown this spring have been spectacular!


    April 5, 2019 at 8:43 PM

  15. What a lovely place. You’ve captured the real essence of resting in peace!


    April 6, 2019 at 6:58 AM

    • I certainly agree. I’d much rather be in a place like this than in a customary American cemetery.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 6, 2019 at 7:17 AM

  16. I had no idea ‘cañada’ would have that meaning. Texas is full of beautiful places with wildflowers.


    April 6, 2019 at 7:11 AM

  17. Floersvill? I can not see it clearly. The ‘e’ and the ‘r’ seem to be transposed; and the last ‘e’ seems to be lacking. I do not see the cream colored variants of the paintbrushes. I see only a cream colored flower to the right of the headstone, but can not see what it is. Bluebonnets look more Californian than Texan.


    April 7, 2019 at 6:54 PM

    • You’ve got it: Floersvill. Several cream-colored paintbrushes form a little clump where you thought, to the right of the headstone. There’s another one just below the little flag at the bottom left of the tombstone.

      Bluebonnets are lupines and therefore resemble many other lupine species.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 7, 2019 at 8:20 PM

  18. […] we visited last month was the Garza-Valadez Cemetery in Floresville. On March 27th we’d left the main city cemetery and the downtown and were beginning to head back to Austin when on a whim I stayed on 4th St. for a […]

  19. What I just said for the other post. Others have said the same, what a place to spend eternity.

    Steve Gingold

    April 8, 2019 at 6:56 PM

  20. Simply beautiful! The deceased must be quite happy amongst all the flowers.


    June 3, 2019 at 12:59 AM

  21. […] a fabulous season for wildflowers; someone told us he’d heard it was the best in 10 years. One place that provided many pictures then was the city cemetery in the aptly named Floresville (flores means flowers in Spanish), a town it takes about two hours […]

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