Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography


with 80 comments

WordPress says this is my 3000th post! If I can mix metaphors, that’s a lot of pictures under the bridge (or more accurately, processed in Adobe Bridge). As for today’s portrait in red, it’s from my neighborhood on January 18th and shows a cluster of drupes on a possumhaw tree (Ilex decidua) still wet from rain.

The mathematically attuned among you will forgive me for using a post title that could be misconstrued as 3000 factorial. The context makes it clear that I couldn’t be referring to that enormous number, which takes 9131 digits to write down. If you’re curious, you can read through them all.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 9, 2020 at 4:48 AM

Posted in nature photography

Tagged with , , , , ,

80 Responses

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  1. Even if not factorial, but (merely factual), that’s still a very impressive accomplishment. Hearty congratulations, Steve!


    February 9, 2020 at 5:03 AM

  2. That’s a lot of lovely photos Steve 😊 congratulations 🎊


    February 9, 2020 at 6:23 AM

    • You’re welcome, Jude. It’s still hard to believe that many posts have come out of here.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 9, 2020 at 9:26 AM

  3. Huge congrats on this milestone!


    February 9, 2020 at 7:30 AM

  4. Congrats both on your 3000th post and your lovely photo of the drupes. I love that word: drupes. My possumhaw is still a great tree, but is red drupe-less most years. I think the squirrels eat the fruits early on in the season, so they never turn red. (Not the squirrels, the drupes!) But possumhaw is an amazing pollinator plant, beckoning a wide variety of insects with its tiny blooms and that will happen soon!


    February 9, 2020 at 8:21 AM

  5. After finishing 3000 factorial posts you will have a glimpse of eternity, Steve.

    Peter Klopp

    February 9, 2020 at 8:39 AM

    • That’s a great way to put it. I’ll let you know what sort of eternity I find when I get there.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 9, 2020 at 9:32 AM

  6. I’m going to smile at the thought of bright red squirrels all day, now.


    February 9, 2020 at 9:46 AM

    • You have an advantage over photographers: you can paint red squirrels if you’d like.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 9, 2020 at 9:48 AM

      • Yup, I sure can. I used to stick pretty close to reality but lately I’ve been considering my options.


        February 9, 2020 at 9:52 AM

  7. Congratulations from a guy who just posted number 157. I too will think about red squirrels today.

    Michael Scandling

    February 9, 2020 at 10:08 AM

  8. Clearly, I’ve plenty of exploring left to do in your archives! While I appreciate your skills in a number of areas and your willingness to teach, I admire your perseverance. We’ve all benefited from it.


    February 9, 2020 at 10:33 AM

    • Perseverance or folly, or some combination of the two. Anyhow, thanks for your appreciation all these years.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 9, 2020 at 1:04 PM

  9. Congrats! and, like Campbell’s Soup

    Robert Parker

    February 9, 2020 at 12:02 PM

    • MMM good!

      Robert Parker

      February 9, 2020 at 12:03 PM

      • I didn’t know whether that motto is still in use or if younger people would know it.

        Steve Schwartzman

        February 9, 2020 at 7:26 PM

        • I know all the old advertisements, kind of a hobby.

          Robert Parker

          February 9, 2020 at 7:45 PM

          • I expect that hobby is feasible thanks to the Internet, especially YouTube.

            Steve Schwartzman

            February 10, 2020 at 7:13 AM

            • One of my grandfathers, who passed away many years ago, was in advertising, so growing up, critiquing ads was second nature.

              Robert Parker

              February 10, 2020 at 7:40 AM

              • Did you and he critique them on accuracy as well as style and effectiveness?

                Steve Schwartzman

                February 10, 2020 at 8:50 AM

                • I don’t think accuracy was one of the criteria! 🙂

                  Robert Parker

                  February 10, 2020 at 9:45 AM

                • Too bad. I’m always on the alert for ad claims that aren’t true. For example, a television commercial that ran last year talked about the all-time high price of silver and the “recent all-time high price of silver.” There’s no such thing as a “recent all-time high price” unless the recent high happened to equal the all-time high. Other than that one infrequent case, there’s no such thing as as a “recent all-time high price” that’s distinct from the all-time high price. The latest iterations of the commercial that I’ve seen have dropped any mention of the “recent all-time high price,” presumably because someone pointed out the problem.

                  Steve Schwartzman

                  February 10, 2020 at 9:53 AM

                • You’re going to be pretty busy if you watch political commercials!
                  I just did a search and it looks like silver prices in the U.S. peaked in 1980 and 2011, so “recent” and “all-time” do seem like spurious claims. I didn’t read enough to know if that’s using inflation-adjusted prices.
                  How do you feel about the cars labeled “Ultra Low Emission,” “Super Ultra Low Emission,” or “PZEV Partial Zero Emission?”

                  Robert Parker

                  February 10, 2020 at 11:36 AM

                • I’ve noticed PZEV marked on some cars over the past few years but I don’t know anything about how that rating and the other ones you mentioned are calculated, so I don’t have an opinion.

                  As for political claims, well, anyone with even a little experience learns not to expect that the truth will prevail there—alas.

                  Steve Schwartzman

                  February 10, 2020 at 12:20 PM

                • “Partial Zero Emission” apparently means, there’s still fumes coming out of the tailpipe, but there’s no evaporation from the fuel system (or as they like to say, “evaporative emissions,” because that sounds more impressive).
                  It’s more the terminology, than the ratings – – seems like “low emission” would be a better description than “partial zero,” which always makes me think, gee, that means it’s also “partial full emission.” I don’t know what silliness they’ll cook up, when they improve on “super ultra,” although I googled it and there’s a “Super Ultra Mega Chicken” out there in the online gaming world.

                  Robert Parker

                  February 10, 2020 at 1:09 PM

                • Perhaps we can summarize that by saying there’s a lot of hype in the world.

                  Steve Schwartzman

                  February 10, 2020 at 4:11 PM

    • I invoked another familiar American food company in my reply to Michael, two comments earlier.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 9, 2020 at 1:05 PM

  10. 3000 is a marvellous achievement! I see from your archive that we started around the same time ((2011), but I only recently passed 600. *Must try harder*

  11. Happy 3000th, Steve!

    Lavinia Ross

    February 9, 2020 at 1:29 PM

  12. Congrats on 3000 and lovely rain-kissed drupes!

    Ellen Jennings

    February 9, 2020 at 2:08 PM

  13. Congrats, Steve!


    February 9, 2020 at 4:19 PM

  14. 3000! Wow.. congratulations!

    Ms. Liz

    February 9, 2020 at 4:29 PM

    • You’re keeping up a good pace to get there, too.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 9, 2020 at 7:28 PM

      • I do keep churning them out… over 1000 now!

        Ms. Liz

        February 9, 2020 at 8:03 PM

        • Happy churning. You’ve made a lot of butter.

          Steve Schwartzman

          February 10, 2020 at 9:39 AM

          • When I was a kid there was much discussion of “butter mountains” in the news. Sometimes I wonder what happened to those mountains, if they eventually found a market for all that butter.

            Ms. Liz

            February 10, 2020 at 12:45 PM

              • Thanks Steve, I really enjoyed reading about it, interesting that the butter mountain only “mostly disappeared by 2017” – the mountain hung around for most of my lifetime!

                Ms. Liz

                February 10, 2020 at 4:06 PM

                • Most mountains last a lot longer than that. Speaking of which, at an upscale grocery store in Austin this past November we splurged on some Lewis Road Creamery hickory smoked butter from New Zealand.

                  Steve Schwartzman

                  February 10, 2020 at 4:48 PM

                • I imagine their products are great, I’ve never come across the butter, did you like it? Sounds good!

                  Ms. Liz

                  February 10, 2020 at 4:50 PM

                • Yes, we did like it. That smoked history flavor is hard to beat. If we can get that brand of New Zealand butter way over here, it seems you ought to be able to find it too—and it won’t be as expensive for you as it was for us.

                  Steve Schwartzman

                  February 10, 2020 at 4:55 PM

  15. Congratulations. That’s quite a number. I checked mine the other day and am not even half way there.

    Steve Gingold

    February 9, 2020 at 4:43 PM

  16. Congratulations, Steve. Here is to the next 3000!


    February 9, 2020 at 7:49 PM

  17. Wow – congrats Steve – quite a milestone!


    February 9, 2020 at 8:34 PM

  18. There’s so much quality even amongst the quantity!
    A dynamic duo Steve!


    February 10, 2020 at 5:14 AM

  19. Congrats on the round number.


    February 10, 2020 at 7:20 AM

  20. I am amazed at your dedication! Thanks so much for all the shares and for broadening our view of plants and natural scenes in areas where we may never go. The world is wide and amazing. I appreciate your tenacity to get out there and capture interesting facets. I would never have known about plants that spew ice if I hadn’t see it here years ago! Just one of many surprises you have displayed.

    Dianne Lethcoe

    February 10, 2020 at 8:00 AM

    • And thanks to you for your interest and appreciation. It helps to have receptive readers. Until about 20 years ago I knew what most people know about native plants, which is practically nothing. As part of a project to represent Austin in photographs in 1999 I happened to get pulled into the world of native plants. This blog is one of the results.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 10, 2020 at 9:39 AM

  21. Nice light on these … they really pop out of that dark background!


    February 13, 2020 at 9:26 AM

    • I’ll confess I had to use flash for this one. I generally don’t like to but it was the only way I could get a decent picture in the low light. The flash is what made the little fruits pop.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 13, 2020 at 8:39 PM

  22. Another great image Steve! Happy 3000 … keep going!! 👏


    February 14, 2020 at 6:14 PM

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