Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Some last pictures from Bastrop

with 12 comments

On June 6th we’d gone to Bastrop by traveling south and then east, so we spiced up the return to Austin by heading north from Bastrop and then turning west. The show-stopper (and me-stopper) along TX 95 was a colony of beebalm, Monarda punctata, interspersed with brown-eyed (also called black-eyed) susans, Rudbeckia hirta. Below is a view of some susans in their own right that I’d hung out with while still in Bastrop State Park. As you can confirm, the excellent wildflower spring of 2019 hadn’t yet quit by early June.

Oh, and do you see that bare dead tree in the upper left of the second landscape? I walked up to it, wanting to isolate it against the sky, but I couldn’t find a position from which it appeared completely by itself. Below is the best I could do; at least I got a puff of a cloud as an accompaniment.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 22, 2019 at 4:38 PM

12 Responses

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  1. What a jump in theme from the brown-eyed susans to the dead tree with its top pointing towards heaven. When I was very active in Flickr, I had quite a reputation for taking such unusual shots. Here is an example which shows our common interest, Steve.

    Peter Klopp

    June 22, 2019 at 10:08 PM

    • Your tree remains are quite sculptural. I’ve seen less impressive things in modern art museums.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 23, 2019 at 6:54 AM

  2. Beautiful, flowery landscape.


    June 23, 2019 at 6:21 AM

  3. The top broken limb on your tree looks as though it might be waiting to snag that little cloud as it passes by.

    As for the monarda, I’ve never seen a field so filled with that flower. I’ve wondered a time or two what next season will be like. A repeat would be wonderful, but the flowers may have flat exhausted themselves with their extravagant blooms this year.

    Oddly enough — and happily enough! — I found two large patches of basket flowers in bloom last week, in a place where I’ve never seen them. There are plenty of buds left, so if the wind stops blowing 25-30 mph,I’ll have a chance for some nice photos this week. Most of the plants are 4′ – 8′ tall, so they’re given to a lot of movement.


    June 23, 2019 at 2:41 PM

    • The top of that dead tree does look like it would be good at snagging things, doesn’t it? However, no clouds need apply.

      I don’t recollect (a Southernism?) whether I’ve ever seen two fabulous wildflower springs in a row. Yes, that field of Monarda sure was something. Even constrained to standing at the enclosing fence and looking in, I managed to find a few places from which I could capture the density of the wildflowers.

      May good basket-flowers finally come your way this week.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 23, 2019 at 4:15 PM

  4. Like Linda I see the tree snagging something but it’s wrapping up the tree top at the bottom for me. The first looks like a “Where’s Waldo” puzzle. Poor bees must be so disoriented trying to figure out which flower to pollinate.

    Steve Gingold

    June 23, 2019 at 3:47 PM

    • You raise an interesting question: how does an insect that confronts a whole colony of wildflowers decide where to land first and where to keep landing? Maybe it follows the strongest scent trails.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 23, 2019 at 4:17 PM

      • I’ve watched bees and other pollinators on our flowers and, of course, I have no idea. But it appears that they often visit the same flower multiple times. Maybe they are able to follow the waggles of their hive mates. Or it might be a case of gluttony.

        Steve Gingold

        June 23, 2019 at 4:35 PM

        • My understanding is that the waggle tells bees where to find a good bunch of wildflowers, but I haven’t heard that there’s any further information about what to do after arriving at the destination.

          Steve Schwartzman

          June 23, 2019 at 6:22 PM

  5. […] Just a small portion of the colonies.  Probably the closest thing I’ll find locally to one of Steve’s Texas florascapes. […]

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