Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Flower bud and leaf bud

with 41 comments

When I worked along the northern stretch of Spicewood Springs Rd. across from the library on March 3rd, several familiar spring friends were in evidence, including the agarita you saw last time and a few Mexican plum trees, Prunus mexicana. This close-up shows you two kinds of plum buds, one for flowers and the other for leaves. It’s also possible to have budding photographers.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 11, 2020 at 4:44 AM

Posted in nature photography

Tagged with , , , , ,

41 Responses

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  1. Too funny! Cool shot — as always!

    Anita M Westervelt

    March 11, 2020 at 5:05 AM

  2. Lol!

    Beautiful clarity and light on that bud.

    I am not seeing any buds on our young tree yet. I just hope it survived the winter in its new spot.


    March 11, 2020 at 6:06 AM

  3. New bud. Nice. To me, it’s a sign of hope. Great capture, Steve!


    March 11, 2020 at 7:39 AM

    • For Emily Dickinson, hope was the thing with feathers. For you, hope is a Mexican plum bud. Who’d have guessed?

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 11, 2020 at 12:13 PM

  4. I like the way you brought only the leaf bud into focus, Steve, and the dark background increases the visual effect.

    Peter Klopp

    March 11, 2020 at 7:58 AM

    • Next time I’ll have two versions of plum flowers, one like this with a dark background, and the other not.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 11, 2020 at 12:48 PM

  5. If I were you, I would have been plum happy to have discovered these buds so nicely set next to each other. You certainly provided a fine view of them. I think it’s too late for these buds to be nipped; let’s hope the photographers don’t get nipped in the bud, either.


    March 11, 2020 at 8:41 AM

    • Some would say a budding photographer is plumb crazy to go out photographing these things. Not you in your second sentence, however, which compluments today’s portrait.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 11, 2020 at 12:51 PM

  6. Not to mention budding botanists. This is an excellent botanical photo.


    March 11, 2020 at 9:08 AM

    • A budding botanist I’m afraid I’ll never be; I’m content to be a nature photographer.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 11, 2020 at 12:52 PM

      • Still, that is a classic shot for ID purposes.


        March 11, 2020 at 3:14 PM

        • Good point. I’ve fantasized a field guide that would show you all the relevant parts and stages of each species. It would be impractical and expensive to do that in print, but a digital field guide is feasible.

          Steve Schwartzman

          March 11, 2020 at 4:48 PM

          • I’m old school and prefer books, but you are right. In the old days my pals and I would be out in the field with 20 lbs worth of guides in our back packs, depending on what we were hoping to find that day. I have to admit, digital is better. As you point out, it would allow for much more detail. Some of the sites I visit have frustratingly little in the way of photos. Why bother have a distant, fuzzy shot of a plant? That doesn’t help at all. Or, sometimes every nut has been allowed to upload photos and you end up with images of someone’s labrador or garden petunia. Can you tell I’ve been trying to sort out species the past few days?


            March 13, 2020 at 9:25 AM

  7. Buds are such beautiful signs of spring! Thank you, Steve! These lovely photos make a lovely start to my day.

    Lavinia Ross

    March 11, 2020 at 10:12 AM

  8. That is one beautiful photograph, bud.

    Michael Scandling

    March 11, 2020 at 10:23 AM

  9. Fabulous. I love macro photos, especially of new growth. I used to take a lot myself. (You’ve got me thinking I should go out searching with a camera!) Really nice detail and color here, and great eye. 😀


    March 11, 2020 at 7:17 PM

    • Thanks for appreciating the details and colors here. And yes, do go out searching again with a camera: there’s always something out there waiting to be closely portrayed.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 11, 2020 at 8:56 PM

  10. The base of the white flower bud – I see a curious wee hermit crab that’s popped most of the way out of his shell with the green bits (sepals?) being his pincers out front. Once I saw that I thought how wonderfully cute it is 🙂

    Ms. Liz

    March 11, 2020 at 10:28 PM

    • You’ve got a good imagination. I’d never have seen the wee crab without your prompting. Now I can also see it as a different arthropod, a spider. Pareidolia lives again.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 11, 2020 at 10:46 PM

  11. WP be damned. For a while back a ways I was getting no notifications of blog posts that I was following. The “Happiness Engineers” or whatever they call themselves had no idea why the box kept getting checked saying no notifications. That seems to have straightened itself out but…somehow I unfollowed you. No way did I do that. Their software has some obvious glitches and maybe they can’t keep up with their numbers. Anyway, I just re-followed you. I thought you were taking a break. Silly thought.
    Nice to see this tight yet lovely bud. Although not quite this advanced, we are seeing a bit of bud swelling finally.

    Steve Gingold

    March 12, 2020 at 5:28 AM

    • I’ve tried to slow down, but what with the December trip to the Philippines, anniversary posts from the two New Zealand trips, and now spring in Texas, the most slowing down I’ve pulled off has been to post every other day or put out two post every three days. As for WP, yes, it has had its quirks over the years. I’m sorry it bumped your description, but all’s well that ends well. That will soon prove as true for the swelling buds up your way as it has for the trees here, some of which are already leafing out.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 12, 2020 at 10:27 AM

  12. […] the last post you saw two kinds of buds on a Mexican plum tree, Prunus mexicana, along the northern stretch of Spicewood Springs Rd. on […]

  13. 👏 .. fabulous image as always Steve.


    March 19, 2020 at 3:36 AM

  14. This is beautiful, Steve, the colors are rich but subdued, the details are all there but have a softness to them. And the placement – where the twig is, the upward-pointing bud and the one about to unfold – just perfect. 🙂


    March 20, 2020 at 8:32 PM

    • The soft look was partly intrinsic to the flower bud, and partly came from the low light that called for a wide aperture of f/4. Even with a macro lens I couldn’t get as close as I’d have liked, so what you see here is cropped from a larger image; thanks for appreciating the way I did the cropping.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 21, 2020 at 5:26 AM

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