Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Wildflowers in January

with 25 comments

Central Texas has a warm enough climate that even in the winter you can see several native plant species flowering. I’ve noted six of them this week, and yesterday for the first time since returning from the Philippines on December 25th I went out to take some nature photographs. Today’s picture from Morado Circle in my northwest Austin neighborhood shows you a flower head of Viguiera dentata, known as plateau goldeneye or just goldeneye. All that yellow should cheer up any of you who are suffering the rigors of a cold northern winter.

As for the tropical Philippines, more posts from there are still forthcoming. I just thought it’s time to start interspersing a few current views from Texas.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 19, 2020 at 4:48 AM

25 Responses

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  1. If I am lucky I’ll find some frost that looks like a flower. Aside from that, Texas wildflowers are the only ones I’ll be seeing for a while. On a cold day here in the Northeast, that’s a nice warm vision.

    Steve Gingold

    January 19, 2020 at 5:03 AM

    • I had you in mind when posting this picture. The television weather report last night foretold blizzards in the Northeast. I still wouldn’t mind one blizzard here if it let me get some good snow and ice pictures.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 19, 2020 at 5:33 AM

      • Location, location, location. We just had @2″ but northern New England and the Maritimes got an incredible snowfall. 30″ and snow drifts 12 feet and higher. Just as our forecast yesterday missed the low temperature it also missed our snow depth as 5-7 inches had been foretold.

        Steve Gingold

        January 19, 2020 at 5:38 AM

        • You said it well with “location, location, location.” Too bad the snow mostly skipped your area.

          Steve Schwartzman

          January 19, 2020 at 5:50 AM

  2. Goldeneye is indeed a pretty flower and brings joy to us northerners that suffer from the cold and snow. The only flowers blooming here are the ice flowers on the windshields. Haha!

    Peter Klopp

    January 19, 2020 at 8:17 AM

    • I wouldn’t mind some ice flowers briefly blooming here, just for the sake of the photographs I could take.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 19, 2020 at 9:03 AM

  3. Some of mine are still blooming!! The rest? Providing seeds for the finches and wrens. Some are doing both.

    Tina

    January 19, 2020 at 8:19 AM

    • Right. That’s how it was for the goldeneye bushes in my neighborhood. Many flowers had long since gone to seed, but some new flower heads were still emerging and looked nice and fresh. I also photographed one flower head that was on its way out, with just three remaining rays that looked the worse for wear.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 19, 2020 at 9:46 AM

  4. A beautiful sight as I sit in the departure lounge ready to board for Iceland. The asymmetry adds a nice visual tension. And the black background—well!

    Michael Scandling

    January 19, 2020 at 4:26 PM

    • You must be thrilled by the prospect of all the winter pictures you’re going to take in Iceland. What you won’t see there is something like this flower head. As for the asymmetry, I’ve observed it in various members of the sunflower family.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 19, 2020 at 7:32 PM

  5. This is a beauty; I especially like the black background, which adds to the drama, and the slightly off-kilter feel. It reminded me of Camus’s famous statement, “In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.” That seemed so apropos I wondered if it truly belonged to Camus, but it seems so. It was included in Retour to Tipasa, an essay contained in the 1954 book Summer (L’Été). I found all that in a PDF with the delightful title The Noble Art of Misquoting Camus.

    shoreacres

    January 19, 2020 at 8:14 PM

    • There were some traces of color outside the flower head so I darkened the background to eliminate them and leave all the attention on the bright subject.

      A year or two ago I tracked down the original of a common misquotation from Camus, so I’m glad you checked up on this one. One quibble I have with that English version is that it leaves out the “finally” that’s in the French original: “Au milieu de l’hiver, j’apprenais enfin qu’il y avait en moi un été invincible.” I was going to read the article you linked to but I saw that the “privacy” notice says the website academia.edu would take my name, address, e-mail address, and even all my contacts, so I demurred.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 19, 2020 at 10:05 PM

      • My heavens. I missed that re: the privacy notice. I’m going to have to be even more careful than I usually am.

        shoreacres

        January 19, 2020 at 10:14 PM

  6. Very cheerful, even in our summery sunshine.

    Gallivanta

    January 20, 2020 at 5:04 AM

    • You can imagine yourself reacting to this in Christchurch in July, and that’s how viewers in the northern United States feel about it now. Even in Austin this morning the temperature is only 6°C.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 20, 2020 at 6:03 AM

  7. A lovely image of a beautiful bloom. What I liked most is that you recorded it as you found it, perfect in its imperfections.

    theresagreen

    January 22, 2020 at 6:01 AM

    • Now we have a dilemma: shall we call it “imperfectly perfect” or “perfectly imperfect”?

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 22, 2020 at 6:17 AM

  8. […] have noticed them if I hadn’t stopped on January 18th to photograph the adjacent goldeneye and boneset that you’ve seen in recent posts. The profile above shows that even mature flower […]

  9. I thought that was a goldeneye. Very nice portrait, and yes, that cheery yellow is a welcome sight. I just keep reminding myself how good it is we have this cold and snow to kill off things like fleas and ticks and whatnot. Probably kidding myself although they are actually worse when we’ve had a mild winter. Today’s dusting is more lovely than awful. We were being warned of a monster storm heading our way, so a dusting is no big deal at all.

    melissabluefineart

    February 6, 2020 at 8:33 AM

    • Amazingly, we got a little dusting here, too! I spent two hours in Great Hills Park this morning taking advantage of the rare bit of white (much of which has already melted).

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 6, 2020 at 10:42 AM


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