Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Wildflower munificence on the Blackland Prairie

with 26 comments

This bright picture comes from the Blackland Prairie in Pflugerville on May 6th.

White = prairie bishop; Bifora americana.
Yellow = sundrops, square-bud primrose; Oenothera capillifolia.
Red = firewheel, Indian blanket; Gaillardia pulchella.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 12, 2020 at 4:30 AM

26 Responses

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  1. Wow! Texas is truly the home of the wildflower. Another great photo showing their splendour and indescribable abundance, Steve!

    Peter Klopp

    May 12, 2020 at 7:19 AM

    • It used to be: “Oh, give me a home where the buffalo roam.” Except for a few remnants, those days are gone now. It’s still true, however, that Texas is home to wildflowers that roam, especially on surviving parcels of prairie. The parcel shown here has been as good this year as anytime I’ve seen it, and I’ve gone there five times in eight days, including yesterday. I’ll show a few more more pictures from that tract over the next couple of weeks.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 12, 2020 at 7:29 AM

  2. The beauty of Texas! 🙂


    May 12, 2020 at 9:40 AM

  3. Very invigorating! Yesterday my son and I went for a drive, just looking at lakes and trees. I was surprised how much that eased my heart. I didn’t realize I was feeling closed off from the world beyond my studio. I believe the state parks are reopening here, although many of them remain under water.


    May 12, 2020 at 11:01 AM

    • Yes, it sounds like the outing did you good. Fortunately I know lots of nature places in my area, both official and unofficial, so I’ve easily been able to go out a lot in the past two months and have taken as many pictures as at this time in other years—all while avoiding people. This picture is one example of what I’ve been finding.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 12, 2020 at 11:08 AM

      • This whole virus thing has highlighted for me how differently l live from how others evidently do. For the most part my days are the same as ever, and it isn’t hard to distance myself. People must actually choose to crowd themselves normally. I don’t remember whether I mentioned that many of our parks have been closed, though. What a relief to have them reopen.


        May 13, 2020 at 8:17 AM

        • The state parks in Texas closed for a while, then reopened, but I discovered you have to make an online reservation now. That sure kills spontaneity.

          It seems lots of people spend much more time with other people that you and I do. It’s easier for us to adapt to the current restrictions. Yesterday I went food shopping for the first time in 12 days; normally I would have gone more often and bought less each time.

          Steve Schwartzman

          May 13, 2020 at 8:25 AM

          • Same here. And I’ve been surprised to find the grocery store utterly packed! At least some things are reappearing on the shelves, but there wasn’t any chicken at all and very little meat of any kind. Guess my family will become vegetarians. I believe you and Eve are, anyway, aren’t you?


            May 13, 2020 at 9:04 AM

            • Thou rememb’rest aright (don’t know why I reverted to Elizabethan English). We’re loosely vegetarian, not eating meat or poultry while accepting dairy and eggs and fish. It’s as arbitrary a place as any to draw the line.

              I’m surprised to hear your grocery store was packed. Yesterday I went to Sprouts and found well below the usual number of shoppers. Costco, where I went next, also had below its usual quota; that may be in part because I went during the 9-10 AM hour set aside for “people of a certain age,” to use an old expression. I was going to say “old folks,” which is another old expression.

              Steve Schwartzman

              May 13, 2020 at 12:16 PM

              • I used to shy away from both those expressions but now I embrace them as I fast approach membership. I am very glad that the stores have adopted that policy. I am baffled why our grocery store is now packed all the time. Not necessary, surely. I am seeing quite a lot of unnecessary behavior, though. I think people don’t know how to react.


                May 14, 2020 at 9:49 AM

                • Yeah, unlike Costco, you don’t have to pay yearly membership dues to belong to that club, unless you consider wear on your body as more than sufficient dues.

                  Steve Schwartzman

                  May 14, 2020 at 10:01 AM

  4. It’s lovely! It’s so thick!


    May 12, 2020 at 11:10 AM

  5. I love these flowers popping up everywhere in spring. Excellent photo, Steve.


    May 12, 2020 at 12:45 PM

    • Texas is duly famous for its wildflowers, which keep coming up in abundance on land that is left alone. Unfortunately the Austin area keeps growing, and many properties that used to be covered with wildflowers have gotten developed. I was dismayed to see the loss of one of my favorite sites when I went there last week.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 12, 2020 at 12:51 PM

  6. I’ve really missed the prairies here this spring. Armand Bayou is just now reopening, albeit with restrictions, and Nash still is closed, like all of the Nature Conservancy sites. The vacant lot/hay meadow that’s been such a wonderful spot in the past was mowed sometime in late January or early February, and is as barren as can be, without even any green milkweed. There are so many places I’ve wanted to go, but there’s just no way to do them as day trips — at least, without exhausting myself. (Am I whining? Just a little.)

    Your photos of the Blackland Prairie are marvelous, and I’m so glad you’ve been able to see such profuse blooms this year. I’ve never been in that region — maybe once things have opened up again, and my aunt in Kansas City is free to accept visitors (she’s in lockdown in an assisted living facility), I’ll head up that way and take in some of this area on the way.


    May 13, 2020 at 7:27 PM

    • I’m sorry to hear that mowing left your “vacant lot” a lot still vacant of wildflowers even three or four months later. You now that I know what that’s like, having experienced it so many times. It least the place hasn’t yet been developed, so the flora will return. This spring I lost one of my favorite places to development. The site shown in this post and other recent ones will also be lost in the next few years, as others close by already have been, alas, which is all the more reason to document it now.

      Like you, I planned on taking some short trips this year, to places like Corpus Christi, Rockport, maybe Brownsville or the Big Thicket. The farthest I could pull off was Inks Lake. A strange new world…

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 17, 2020 at 6:39 AM

  7. Yep that’s a wow from me too! Amazing!


    May 17, 2020 at 1:54 AM

  8. Photographic pointilism!

    Steve Gingold

    May 18, 2020 at 1:52 PM

    • Referring to another dense wildflower display at this location, Michael Scandling invoked Seurat.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 18, 2020 at 2:29 PM

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