Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Another July 4th

with 28 comments

As I’ve sometimes done for the Fourth of July,
today I’m offering up a red, white, and blue photograph.
It shows standing cypress, Ipomopsis rubra, on May 20, 2009,
at the intersection of Williamson County Rd. 217 and US 183.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 4, 2019 at 4:36 AM

28 Responses

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  1. It’s a striking portrait of a plant that seems both dramatic and celebratory by nature. The touch of red in the framing is a good addition, I think; it helps to highlight the flowers. Happy Independence Day to you, and best wishes for your birthday, too. Here’s to another year of sharp eyes for spotting these beauties, sharp wit for describing them, and plenty of good, sharp focus in your photos — unless you prefer to soften things up, of course!


    July 4, 2019 at 5:27 AM

    • “Dramatic” is a good word for this plant, given its tall stance and richly red flowers (thanks, backlighting) that contrast with the feathery foliage (more of which you’ll see next time). As ever sharp in your perception, you picked up on the red framing, which picked up on the red of the flowers.

      You raise an existential question: must a person celebrate twice as much on a day that’s both a holiday and a birthday? Or is there a Law of Conservation of Celebration that caps the festivities no matter how many events coincide?

      And speaking of soft focus, just yesterday I was fooling around with an old 50mm lens that isn’t the sharpest to begin with and at whose maximum aperture of f/1.4 not much is in focus.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 4, 2019 at 5:56 AM

  2. A lovely ‘sparkler’ for July 4th. Happy 4th of July and Happy Birthday.


    July 4, 2019 at 5:55 AM

  3. Great shot! Perfect bloom stalk against the Texas sky. A good Independence Day to you!


    July 4, 2019 at 7:46 AM

    • Thanks. I still remember stopping to photograph that standing cypress against fleecy clouds. Hard to believe it was 10 years ago already.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 4, 2019 at 9:56 AM

  4. A beautiful gift for America’s birthday, Steve!

    Peter Klopp

    July 4, 2019 at 8:15 AM

  5. Great! Nice floral fireworks, and neat idea!

    Robert Parker

    July 4, 2019 at 10:43 AM

  6. Well thought of and presented, Steve.

    Steve Gingold

    July 4, 2019 at 12:45 PM

  7. Queue the John Philip Sousa playlist.

    Nice photo.

    Jason Frels

    July 4, 2019 at 1:27 PM

  8. I can’t think of a nicer tribute to our country than this.


    July 5, 2019 at 7:43 AM

  9. Stunning! I’m grateful for not being subjected to yet another photo of the American flag.

    Ms. Liz

    July 6, 2019 at 3:18 AM

    • That’s an interesting reaction, considering you’re in New Zealand. It seems American culture and events have a long arm.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 6, 2019 at 5:58 AM

      • Well they do… you’ve heard about some Democrat nominee woman over there who addressed our own PM Jacinda Ardern in patronising terms, like “Girlfriend, you’re on”. It was in regard to our PM publicly stating she wants NZ to be the best country in the world for a child to grow up in. I think this person has been thoroughly vilified for her comments given America’s track record on treatment of children. I’ve been very ill so didn’t read much of it, but it came across as really arrogant and ignorant.

        Ms. Liz

        July 6, 2019 at 7:03 PM

  10. […] last post gave you a vintage red-white-and-blue look at a flowering Ipomopsis rubra, called Texas plume and standing cypress. This year I encountered the species for the first time on […]

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