Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Effects of rain

with 24 comments

On June 24th, after we’d had rain, I went down to Great Hills Park. Here are some effects of that rain.

Texas lantana flowers, Lantana urticoides

Wet rattan vine, Berchemia scandens

Petal of a white prickly poppy, Argemone albiflora, on horsemint, Monarda citriodora

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 10, 2019 at 4:44 AM

24 Responses

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  1. Water is a good thing, most of the time, isn’t it? These photos show plants feeling refreshed.
    We have had a couple of welcome thunderstorms which have made all the difference around here. Plus they cooled things off, amazingly enough. My son and I were able to enjoy a wonderful day kayaking yesterday. It almost felt like September~warm but not humid, not hot. Gentle breeze. Lots of dragonflies to keep us company. We almost talked ourselves out of going~so glad we didn’t.


    August 10, 2019 at 9:24 AM

    • Yes, it was good you didn’t talk yourselves out of going. Imagine: September in early August.

      Talk of thunderstorms comes close to home, so to speak. We drove through one as we approached Raleigh, NC, on Wednesday. One hit us as we left Pensacola Beach, FL, yesterday, and I drove through another on the Mississippi Gulf Coast this afternoon.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 10, 2019 at 8:41 PM

      • Ah, yeah, while I do love thunderstorms, I don’t like driving through them. What did you think of Raleigh? And did you look in on Asheville, at all? Raleigh is a possible next stop for us as Paul’s career progresses. Personally I’d much prefer Asheville.


        August 11, 2019 at 8:26 AM

        • I visited a childhood friend from Long Island who now lives in Raleigh, so I didn’t pay much attention to the town. Next we stopped briefly in Charlotte, which is closer to Asheville, but then our route took us southwest through Atlanta.

          Steve Schwartzman

          August 11, 2019 at 4:48 PM

          • Pretty hot, I’ll bet, but then I guess you’re used to that. We have family in Georgia.


            August 12, 2019 at 9:01 AM

            • The predicted high today and tomorrow in Austin are 105° and 106°. A warm welcome home to us.

              Steve Schwartzman

              August 12, 2019 at 1:56 PM

              • Yes, very warm. Are you seeing warmer temperatures down there? The weathermen get very excited around here and go on about records, but I know we’ve had 100+ days in the past. I know because I worked outside in them.


                August 13, 2019 at 9:22 AM

                • The 106° predicted for this afternoon would be the highest here so far in 2019, but we expect a bunch of days over 100° each summer, central Texas being as far south as it is. Working outside in that heat is no fun, as you pointed out.

                  Steve Schwartzman

                  August 13, 2019 at 9:48 AM

                • No it sure isn’t. I’m sure thankful for the week of 70 degree temps we have going.


                  August 14, 2019 at 9:07 AM

                • You won’t be surprised to hear that August temperatures in Austin start in the high 70s.

                  Steve Schwartzman

                  August 14, 2019 at 9:16 AM

                • Good thing you like that sort of thing. Did I tell you~Paul has promised to move to Mendocino in 4 years. I guess I have 4 more winters in me…


                  August 14, 2019 at 10:15 PM

                • It certainly gives you something to look forward to. Sorry about the four intervening winters.

                  Steve Schwartzman

                  August 15, 2019 at 7:41 AM

                • Me too but they will pass fast and faster, I think. Everything seems to these days.


                  August 16, 2019 at 8:20 AM

                • Isn’t that the truth!

                  Steve Schwartzman

                  August 16, 2019 at 8:33 AM

  2. We sell rattan furniture and it is a very bendy product. Love the lantana shot.

    Steve Gingold

    August 10, 2019 at 4:25 PM

    • Imagine my surprise when we visited a friend in Charlotte, NC, a few days ago and found that among other things in her garden she’d planted Texas lantana.

      Ah, the confusion of common names. The rattan furniture in stores “is a naturally renewable palm that grows in the tropical regions of Africa, Asia and Australasia, and is used for furniture, handicrafts, and building material among others. Rattan continues to be an invaluable part of rural people’s livelihoods in South and Southeast Asia.” I’ve read that the unrelated native rattan vine that grows in Texas and other southern states has occasionally also been used locally to make furniture.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 10, 2019 at 8:49 PM

      • Rattan and bamboo…two economically valuable plants. Rattan is wood and bamboo a grass. A lot of plants get planted away from their natural environment.

        Steve Gingold

        August 11, 2019 at 2:39 AM

  3. My favorite among the photos is the wet rattan. The slick, reflective surface is visually appealing, and it helps to make the details of the vine’s presence among the trees more obvious than usual. I had to grin at the photo of the white prickly poppy petal. If there hadn’t been a bit of explanatory text, I’m not sure how long it would have taken even poppy-loving me to figure it out. It’s another example of something being “planted” away from its natural (or at least more usual) environment.


    August 12, 2019 at 6:14 AM

    • So in your book I wasn’t all wet when I included that second picture. Rattan tangles like that one have always appealed to me and I’ve photographed them every now and then. What was new this time was the wetness, which, as you pointed out, adds to the appeal.

      The travelers multiply planted away from their usual environment have finally returned.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 12, 2019 at 7:04 AM

      • Welcome home! And this traveler, who spent most of the weekend sweating away in east Texas, didn’t melt away completely. I’ve decided one of the advantages of my work is that it keeps me in shape for summer photography.


        August 12, 2019 at 7:08 AM

        • Thanks. I don’t know what the overall effects of sitting in a car for 5100 miles over 26 days are, but an immediate effect was sometimes stiffness. It’s good to hear you’ve stayed in shape for summer photography. The heat certainly got to us at times.

          Steve Schwartzman

          August 12, 2019 at 7:29 AM

  4. That rattan looks kind of creepy like it’s getting ready to take over the world or at least your part of Texas!



    August 14, 2019 at 9:25 PM

    • Yes, the rattan here is formidable. What you may not be able to tell from the picture is that rattan is a woody vine. Even a slender rattan stem is much too strong for you to break by hand.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 15, 2019 at 7:39 AM

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