Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

We had rain on Saturday and Sunday

with 39 comments

We had rain on Saturday and Sunday, so Monday morning I went over to Bull Creek to check out its wiiiiiiiide waterfall. No one had moved it, as these two pictures confirm. Notice the switchgrass in the upper left of the second photo.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 9, 2019 at 4:47 AM

39 Responses

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  1. The first photo’s especially nice because of the two-way movement it shows: the clouds seeming to travel left to right horizontally, and the water falling vertically. Those two elements make the land seem especially solid. The variety of greens among the trees is equally pleasing.

    I read that “switchgrass is one of the dominant species of the tallgrass prairie, but also grows along roadsides where moisture is present.” Apparently so!


    April 9, 2019 at 7:35 AM

    • You manage to read so much in an image; I think you missed your calling as an art critic. Come to think of it, not long ago I made a comment about horizontal versus vertical in one of Steve G.’s waterfall pictures. Maybe I missed a career, too. Mainly at the moment I’m glad I missed other people at the waterfall. Two other cars were in the parking area but I ended up seeing no one.

      I’ve also read that people consider switchgrass a dominant grass of the tallgrass prairie. I hadn’t heard the part about growing along roadsides where moisture is present, but I have seen it in places like that that I wouldn’t think of as prairie.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 9, 2019 at 7:58 AM

  2. It’s so good to see your waterfall was right where you left it. You’re right, it is wiiide, and really cool looking.


    April 9, 2019 at 8:12 AM

    • Yeah, I don’t know what I’d’ve done if somebody’d taken my waterfall away. In recent years I’ve usually gone to a different waterfall that’s nearby on a tributary of Bull Creek,


      but I realized I hadn’t checked out the wider waterfall in a long time. I tend to avoid it because it often has people around; this time, fortunately, no one else was there.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 9, 2019 at 8:22 AM

      • I’m so spoiled here. I very seldom come across people when I’m at a site and the few that are there typically become friends~ comrades-in-arms, I guess. I would hate to see the places I remember from my childhood all crowded by tourists, as they are now.


        April 10, 2019 at 9:14 AM

        • This is a popular place but I was helped by the relatively early hour and the fact that the ground was still wet and muddy in many places from the rain over the two previous days. Anticipating the conditions, I wore my rubber boots. You’re probably right that many of the places you remember from childhood are more crowded now.

          Steve Schwartzman

          April 10, 2019 at 9:16 PM

          • We have a little park by the lake here that has become increasingly unwelcoming to the dog owners, so we’ve learned to come out when the weather is a little inclement. Then we can let our dogs romp happily without anyone calling the cops on us. In all of the years I’ve lived here, I have never once found a dog pile, nor has there ever been an issue with a dangerous dog. I have to say, I resent the signs telling me my dog isn’t welcome! There is plenty of filth from the canada geese that are staunchly (and stupidly) protected, and that seems to be fine with everyone. But let there be a pawprint and people howl. sheesh. But anyway, you’re right, these places can still be enjoyed if you go early or late or when it is a bit wet.


            April 11, 2019 at 9:56 AM

  3. I always think of switchgrass as a pretty well-behaved grass, as it grows in clumps. Big bluestem and indian grass, now, they will run and totally dominate. In prairie restorations we’ve learned to plant the forbs first and then a year or two later introduce grass, but with caution.


    April 9, 2019 at 8:15 AM

    • I didn’t know that a standard practice of prairie restorers is to introduce the forbs first and a year or two later, with caution, dominating grasses like big bluestem and Indiangrass.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 9, 2019 at 8:27 AM

      • Well, we learned by experience on that one. Do it the other way and the forbs haven’t a chance.


        April 10, 2019 at 9:11 AM

  4. You seem to have all the luck. We only had .4 inches on the 7th.


    April 9, 2019 at 10:17 AM

  5. That water is in full force. The last time I was there, not so long ago–not so much. Thanks, rain! Great shots!


    April 9, 2019 at 4:26 PM

    • I’m with you in giving thanks for the rain. I expect rain lilies will be popping up any day now.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 9, 2019 at 6:52 PM

  6. Did your concern of the fall being gone arise from your prolonged absence, Steve, or from some other, more ominous reason?


    April 9, 2019 at 9:07 PM

  7. It’s always reassuring when landmarks stay fixed. The wiiide word reminded me of Across the Wide Missouri, a song which spread so far and wiiiide I even knew it as a child in Fiji. Interestingly when I looked up the origins on Wiki, I found a reference to the Oneida and Hamilton College, which college my daughter attended for a summer course when we were stationed in New York. It was one of her life’s highlights. The word Oneida triggered a memory about cutlery and with some research I established that my mother’s silver plate cutlery set was Oneida Community Plate, Coronation design. This was always brought out for special occasions, mostly in Fiji, and my sister and I had special child size Community Plate settings (still have them!). So how wiiiiiiiiide have I stretched your waterfall post now? The landmark may be fixed but the associations for me go far and very wiiiiiiide.


    April 9, 2019 at 11:59 PM

    • Wiiiide associations indeed. Shall I join some of mine to yours? As a teenager and ever since, I’ve been fond of the song “Oh Shenandoah,” whose refrain “‘Cross the wide Missouri” has given it the alternate title “Across the Wide Missouri” that you know it by, according to the article you’ve read at


      Two and three springs ago I parked on Shenandoah Drive in Cedar Park and photographed wildflowers on an adjacent property. The street has stayed fixed but its name might as well have been changed to Memory Lane because unfortunately for my purposes the adjacent property has recently been built on.

      When I was in graduate school at Duke University in North Carolina in the summers of 1973 and ’74 I remember that one of my fellow students had gone to Hamilton College. I’m not sure I’ve ever been to Oneida Lake but I lived for the first half of 1971 in a town on the eastern shore of one of the nearby Finger Lakes. Eve has a niece living in Sydney who’s planning to get married next year in Fiji. She says that even with the airfare to Fiji, the wedding will be a lot cheaper there than in Australia.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 10, 2019 at 6:39 AM

      • Sigh! The development scenario is much the same here except for the Eastern side of the city, which , thanks to the earthquakes, is now returned to fields and park like spaces. Interesting to hear about Eve’s niece. Will you be joining the wedding party? The countdown is on for my nephew’s wedding.


        April 10, 2019 at 7:17 AM

        • Then we’re all counting down. Eve’s niece would like us to attend but we haven’t decided, especially as there’s not yet a specific date.

          I remember driving around in the hills on the side of Christchurch by the sea during our first visit.

          Steve Schwartzman

          April 10, 2019 at 7:47 AM

  8. That is a wide waterfall. I don’t get to see them like that around here. There is one locally on the Connecticut River in Holyoke, MA but that is a dam for hydroelectric purposes. Yours may not have been moved, but is definitely moving.

    Steve Gingold

    April 10, 2019 at 4:13 AM

  9. […] April 8th, after photographing Bull Creek’s wide falls, I moved half a mile downstream and dealt with a waterfall that’s narrower and not as tall […]

  10. […] We had rain on Saturday and Sunday, so by Thursday, April 11th, rain-lilies (Cooperia pedunculata) were coming up around Austin. I was fortunate with the picture above because a tiny red mite was running around pretty quickly on the flower but somehow I caught it in an instant of relative stillness. Some of the rain-lilies I photographed were growing near a colony of four-nerve daisies (Tetraneuris linearifolia), including the one shown below. Notice how the circle of orange at the center of the rain-lily coincidentally corresponds in color to the daubs of the daisies in the background. […]

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