Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

More from Capital of Texas Highway

with 18 comments

The wildflowers were so yummy along Capital of Texas Highway on May 21st that I owe you another look. The purple flowers are horsemints, Monarda citriodora. Most of the others are Indian blankets, Gaillardia pulchella, many of which had already shed their red-and-yellow rays and become little seed-sowing globes.

On May 22nd, wanting to capitalize on the floral bounty, I again photographed along Capital of Texas Highway. The tall plant with the sinuous stalk of buds is downy gaura, Oenothera curtiflora. In contrast, notice that the stalk of the downy gaura plant behind the main one is pretty straight. And how could your eyes not be drawn down the stem of the foremost guara to the bright firewheel at its base?

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 28, 2019 at 4:49 AM

18 Responses

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  1. The scenes are so packed with gorgeous wildflower colours – and this right alongside a busy highway?

    Nature on the Edge

    May 28, 2019 at 7:36 AM

    • Yes, both scenes were at the edge of the Capital of Texas Highway. The first was at a busy interchange and the second was by the entrance to an apartment complex. As is almost always the case, of all the many people passing by, no one else stopped to admire or photograph the flowers.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 28, 2019 at 8:16 AM

  2. What are we going to do in July and August when all of these have gone to seed?

    Jason Frels

    May 28, 2019 at 9:12 AM

  3. The wildflowers are indeed very beautiful. And you captured them in a way that really show their beauty. I love the last photo.

    Otto von Münchow

    May 28, 2019 at 1:38 PM

    • Thanks. We’ve had an excellent late spring here, as you’ve seen. This morning I drove past both of the places shown here and they’re still looking good.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 28, 2019 at 6:34 PM

  4. Stunning photos, Steve. That downy guara is dancing in a most graceful way.


    May 28, 2019 at 2:42 PM

  5. I actually found something today that approaches, just slightly, these images. But it was pouring rain so will wait for another day. Unfortunately they are non-native and invasive as well…Ragged Robins-Lychnis flos-cuculi.

    Steve Gingold

    May 28, 2019 at 7:12 PM

    • That last word reminded me of calculus, which I used to teach. It’s thundering here as I type this, so maybe your rain is moving down here.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 28, 2019 at 8:59 PM

      • Most of our recent thunder has been overnight. Although it wakes me, I like hearing thunder and a good pouring rain while lying in bed.

        Steve Gingold

        May 29, 2019 at 3:12 AM

        • We had night thunder a few weeks ago, at the time of our most recent rains. It’s pretty rare here.

          Steve Schwartzman

          May 29, 2019 at 6:29 AM

  6. It’s taken me all this time to identify what photos like the one at the top have been reminding me of. This morning, I finally ‘got it.’ It’s the floral fabrics of the 1940s. I pulled out the quilts that my grandmother made, and there they are: patterns like this one that so resemble the flower-filled fields you’ve been photographing.

    Some are filled with only one ‘species,’ while others have other flowers like your gaura overprinted on them. It’s fun to reverse things, and imagine your fields as nature’s quilt spread over the land.


    May 29, 2019 at 6:44 AM

    • I’ve described—we probably all have—field and meadows as being blanketed or carpeted with flowers. I don’t recall anyone ever saying “quilted with flowers”; do you? You could start a new trend, thanks to memories of floral quilts from the time of your grandmother in the 1940s.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 29, 2019 at 7:09 AM

  7. Incredibly yummy Steve … is that lemon bergamot?


    June 1, 2019 at 3:04 PM

    • Yummy yummy. I see online that lemon bergamot is indeed another name for Monarda citriodora, with the citriodora corresponding to a lemony odor.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 1, 2019 at 7:37 PM

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