Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Toot toot again

with 47 comments

After a post early in 2019 that shamelessly showed pictures of mine from the Native Plant Society of Texas photo contest of 2018, this first post for 2020 shows winners from the 2019 contest, which once again categorized entries according to Texas’s 12 ecoregions. Click any picture that you’d like to see in more detail.

Arizona/New Mexico Mountains: Fallugia paradoxa.

Chihuahuan Deserts: Fouquieria splendens.

East Central Texas Plains: various species.

Edwards Plateau: Coreopsis tinctoria.

High Plains: Phacelia integrifolia.

Western Gulf Coastal Plains: Vaccinium arboreum.

Southwestern Tablelands: Dalea formosa.

Texas Blackland Prairies: Liatris punctata. var. mucronata.

Gulf Coast Prairies and Marshes: Mimosa strigillosa.

©2020 Steven Schwartzman


Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 1, 2020 at 4:36 AM

47 Responses

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  1. these are beautiful


    January 1, 2020 at 6:10 AM

  2. A very beautiful series. All the pictures I like very much.


    January 1, 2020 at 7:59 AM

    • Thank you, Rabirius. Texas is so large that we have many regions and climates, along with the corresponding flora.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 1, 2020 at 11:58 AM

  3. All gorgeous Steve, you need to move over to the judges’ table and give some mere mortals a chance! Congratulations on your well-deserved recognition!

    Tina Schell

    January 1, 2020 at 8:10 AM

    • Thanks, Tina. You’ve hit upon this year’s plan, as I will indeed be on the organizing side of the contest.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 1, 2020 at 11:55 AM

  4. All lovely, Steve!

    Ellen Jennings

    January 1, 2020 at 8:30 AM

  5. Gorgeous photos–every one!


    January 1, 2020 at 9:16 AM

  6. When I first saw these, I missed the genus name for Dalea formosa, or don’t remember noting it. I was surprised this morning to realize it’s in the same genus as the clovers that grow on the beach, or on the prairies. And I’m more fond of the Mimosa this time around. I think the atypical nature of the background perplexed me the first time I saw it.

    I certainly hope we have a similar spring this year. I’d love another shot at photographing the cemeteries and the area around Willow City, with better results.


    January 1, 2020 at 9:35 AM

    • Like you, I’m more familiar with the low-growing Dalea species than with this larger one. I see on the Wildflower Center’s website that “many shrubby species of Dalea” exist.

      The fact that the Mimosa flower stalk came right up out of beach sand is what endeared it to me. The red at the base of the stalk is also an appealing touch.

      Yesterday and earlier this morning I was pondering the likelihood that we’d get two superbloom years in a row. I suspect it’s not common, but given enough time it’s bound to happen. I’d sure be up for that.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 1, 2020 at 12:20 PM

  7. A beautiful showing. I especially like the Edwards plateau photo.

    Michael Scandling

    January 1, 2020 at 11:52 AM

  8. A fine, diverse collection! I hope 2020 brings you many more opportunities to photograph our native flora!


    January 1, 2020 at 12:58 PM

  9. Stunning images with a great promise of more such impressive photos to come in 2020! Happy New Year, Steve!

    Peter Klopp

    January 1, 2020 at 1:17 PM

    • Happy New Year to you, too. Now if I could only get off Philippine time and stay awake during the day, I might be able to go out for some more good nature pictures.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 1, 2020 at 4:52 PM

  10. Blowing your own horn gives off a nice sense of accomplishment. No surprise that your images get featured by the NPST. That Mimosa just popping out of the sand is pretty cool.

    Steve Gingold

    January 1, 2020 at 2:55 PM

    • Neither before nor since have I ever seen a mimosa flower come straight up out of sand that way with no other plant parts in evidence. I’ve been thinking of offering photo tips to NPSoT members so people are more likely to take good pictures.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 1, 2020 at 4:55 PM

  11. I look forward to your blooms in 2020.


    January 1, 2020 at 3:07 PM

  12. Congrats Steve! Well deserved! I can’t imagine that there is anyone more passionate about wildflower photography than you!!


    January 1, 2020 at 8:48 PM

  13. Congratulations, Steve, there is no need to hide your light under a bushel. I remember the photo from the cemetery with the breathtakingly beautiful wildflowers best from last year. I hope they will experience another good bloom in 2020.


    January 1, 2020 at 9:42 PM

  14. Congratulations on your winners. It’s easy to see why they were chosen. I especially like the 3rd and 4th images!


    January 2, 2020 at 1:36 PM

    • Thanks. The third and fourth are both from this past spring, when parts of central Texas had what might be called a superbloom.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 2, 2020 at 2:18 PM

  15. Congratulations, they are just so great. Thanks.


    January 2, 2020 at 10:14 PM

  16. We’re all so lucky you decided to toot this horn :D. I can’t even narrow down my 5 favorites as they are all so brilliant!

    Birder's Journey

    January 3, 2020 at 7:12 PM

  17. All beautiful and worthy of recognition. This plant -Phacelia integrifolia. – and a few others you’ve shared over the years, remind me of a species called ‘Scorpion’s Tail’ ..https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heliotropium_curassavicum

    Playamart - Zeebra Designs

    January 6, 2020 at 2:44 PM

    • To my surprise, when I checked the distribution of Heliotropium curassavicum I saw that it has been found in my county. When I checked further, I learned that it’s rare here, so I don’t feel bad about not having been aware of it. The map shows this species is also found in two counties along the Gulf coast in Mississippi; is that where you know it from?

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 6, 2020 at 4:29 PM

      • First encountered it in Costa rica, usually always purple/violet.. here the dominant color is a lovely white, so decorative – I wonder why peole don’t use it in garden plantings.

        Playamart - Zeebra Designs

        January 8, 2020 at 3:30 PM

  18. Wow Steve these are fabulous! Congratulations … !


    January 7, 2020 at 12:32 PM

  19. Just goes to show it’s an amazing state, full of variety, and you’re a damned amazing photographer. 😉 I am wanting to pick favorites – so, the first, because of the fluffy white texture, the third for its charm (is that a cemetery? I love old cemeteries), the fourth because I love rocks and the Coreopsis is tumbling among them in the most attractive way. And the rest. 😉


    January 8, 2020 at 7:57 PM

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