Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Snow-on-the-mountain above a cumulus cloud

with 27 comments

From the aptly named Innovation Way in Cedar Park on August 29th, here’s a portrait of snow-on-the-mountain, Euphorbia marginata, that’s unlike any I recall making of this species. You’re welcome to compare the similar yet different snow-on-the-prairie that you saw nine days ago. To complete the triumvirate, you can also check out the fire-on-the-mountain that made its one and only appearance in these pages in 2011.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 14, 2019 at 4:33 AM

27 Responses

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  1. I’m glad you included the little cloud, it’s a neat shot

    Robert Parker

    September 14, 2019 at 8:22 AM

    • It wasn’t easy to include the cloud below the flowers. I had to get down on the ground and shoot upward at a pretty steep angle, which in turn meant I struggled to keep the nearest and farthest parts of the plant in focus at the same time. What we do for our art….

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 14, 2019 at 8:31 AM

  2. This photo of the snow-on-the-mountain flower has an otherworldly feel to it, Steve. I guess it is the cumulus cloud that created this effect for me.

    Peter Klopp

    September 14, 2019 at 8:45 AM

    • Yes, that’s it. To my mind, having the cloud below the flowers is akin to what you saw four posts back in the picture of the dark clouds above the bright sand dunes. Both portraits reverse the normal order of things, and I believe that’s why you get an otherworldly feel from today’s photograph.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 14, 2019 at 8:54 AM

  3. Well worth the effort. Photography is an art and an exercise program. Both worked out well on this one.

    Michael Scandling

    September 14, 2019 at 10:20 AM

  4. I love how simple and yet early complete this photo is.

    Kim of Glover Gardens

    September 14, 2019 at 12:13 PM

  5. That’s a great shot! Which one was the photobomber, which the photobombee?


    September 14, 2019 at 4:51 PM

  6. There are two things I like: the heart-shaped arrangement of the flowers, and the positioning of the cloud as a shadow. Who’s ever captured a white shadow? No one, until an especially creative (and limber) photographer showed up.


    September 14, 2019 at 6:52 PM

    • That heart-shaped configuration of bracts was a bonus; I’d have tried for the picture regardless of the shape the tip of the plant took. Thinking of the cloud as a white shadow, and one that conveniently matches the predominant color of the bracts, is a clever way to see the situation. Perhaps you’d been listening to Irving Berlin’s “I’m dreaming of a white shadow.”

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 15, 2019 at 5:39 AM

  7. For me it was also the ❤-shape that captured my attention. I ❤ it!


    September 14, 2019 at 7:57 PM

    • Those two red hearts could symbolize Linda and you. You’ve reminded me that a couple of weeks ago I wore a T-shirt that showed the symbol for the square root of -1, followed by a red heart symbol and then the word MATH. I got more questions and comments on that T-shirt than any I’ve ever worn. People who understood and new the name for the square root of -1 were happy to see me promoting math; people who didn’t get it asked me for an explanation, which I gladly gave.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 15, 2019 at 5:45 AM

      • …you would have had to give me an explanation, Steve, but I probably would not have understood it. My mathematical cortex is atrophied. 😦


        September 15, 2019 at 7:07 PM

        • Then it’s high time to de-atrophy that cortex. Actually, with the right explanation, you could be led to understand the square root of -1.

          Steve Schwartzman

          September 15, 2019 at 9:15 PM

          • I think atrophy was the wrong choice of word, Steve. In order to atrophy, something has to have developed beforehand. In my case, my mathematical cortex was dystrophic from the start.
            I have thought about this a lot, and even though I am not blaming anyone, I am afraid I grew up during a time when girls were not expected to understand physics and math, and no particular effort was made to help them grasp it. I managed to scrape by with tutoring, but think there are different methods to teach subjects, and the one used was not the one I needed.
            Fortunately, much of that sexist prejudice has been proven wrong.


            September 17, 2019 at 1:52 PM

            • Several things are at work here. I’m sorry if you weren’t taught well, or weren’t taught enough. That’s why I wrote that with the right explanations, I’m pretty sure you could be led to understand the square root of -1. As is true for any human aptitude, there’s a bell curve distribution of abilities, but almost everyone has enough ability to come to understand the so-called imaginary numbers. That’s true for both sexes. Over the years that I taught calculus, I had roughly equal numbers of each in my classes. If we ever get together in person, we can extend the discussion.

              Steve Schwartzman

              September 17, 2019 at 2:07 PM

  8. Very creative, Steve. While not exactly the same, the cloud and flower arrangement do mimic each other a bit as well as trade the expected positions.

    Steve Gingold

    September 17, 2019 at 7:09 PM

    • It’s a little disconcerting that some of the creativity in my native plant photography has amounted to nothing more than getting down on the ground in some fashion, but so be it. That position does offer an unconventional view of things, in this case one that let me switch the expected positions of the cloud and the flowers.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 17, 2019 at 9:50 PM

  9. Super shot Steve … great composition


    September 20, 2019 at 2:12 PM

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