Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Flowering paloverde tree and clouds

with 43 comments

On May 29th I stopped along Anderson Mill Rd. at Windy Ridge Rd., having never taken pictures there before. What prompted me to pull over was a flowering paloverde tree (Parkinsonia aculeata) that I wanted to play off against the moving (in both senses) clouds that had been with us all morning.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 13, 2020 at 4:44 AM

Posted in nature photography

Tagged with , , , , ,

43 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. I love your dramatic-looking picture!

    Ms. Liz

    June 13, 2020 at 4:55 AM

  2. I’ve seen these in my few travels through your environs, but I hadn’t known what they were. Thanks for the enlightenment. And the background of the clouds adds another dimension.


    June 13, 2020 at 5:28 AM

    • Let there be light: I’m happy to have elucidated that for you. Without those clouds I probably wouldn’t have stopped, given that I know paloverde trees close to home.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 13, 2020 at 6:21 AM

  3. It is cool to see those skinny leaves, an adaptation I’m assuming to arid conditions.


    June 13, 2020 at 7:54 AM

  4. Perhaps there was no wind on Windy Ridge Rd. that day, but in my mind, I see the paloverde tree branches swaying under the clouds.

    Peter Klopp

    June 13, 2020 at 8:09 AM

    • I think Windy Ridge is one of those street names that sounds good but doesn’t have much to do with the actual location. That said, there was some wind, which made it harder for me to compose my pictures because the branches moved around somewhat, and the clouds also kept moving.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 13, 2020 at 1:36 PM

  5. Love that perspective and yellow and blue.


    June 13, 2020 at 10:31 AM

    • The combination of blue and yellow
      Makes for a picture that sure is mellow.
      The combination of yellow and blue
      Makes the scene come shining through.

      As for the perspective, I was down close to the ground so I could aim upward and play the branches off against the clouds.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 13, 2020 at 1:43 PM

  6. The three layers are nice: one represented by the tree, two by the clouds. It gives the photo a sense of depth as well as of movement. The amount of detail in the tree’s pretty nice, too. The flowers are the main attraction, I suppose, but you even captured the nubbiness that remains along the stems once the flowers have fallen.


    June 14, 2020 at 3:57 AM

    • Congratulations on being the first person ever to leave a comment here with the word nubbiness in it. Not even a simple nubby had appeared. And good of you to separate the clouds into two layers. As for detail, you’ve heard me say plenty of times that the original photographs render so much more detail than the blog-size versions—something you know quite well, too.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 14, 2020 at 6:54 AM

  7. Rad! This is one of those species that vain people get for bragging rights, and then promptly kill with too much water. The best are on the edge of a freeway near San Jose. They do not seem to get any irrigation there.


    June 14, 2020 at 10:13 AM

    • I didn’t know that too much watering can be fatal for these trees. On the other hand, I’m not surprised, given that paloverdes flourish here in our semi-arid climate. I didn’t realize that this species makes it to California:

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 14, 2020 at 12:18 PM

      • It is rare in the wild. I have never seen it in the wild. The specimens that I know of are in landscapes. Any landscape here that is ‘maintained’ by so-called ‘gardeners’ gets too much water, even for plants that tolerate significant watering.


        June 14, 2020 at 1:01 PM

  8. I like your composition. The trees frame the cloud nicely and almost seem to be holding it. The fine green leaves and subtle yellow flowers are a good pairing with the blue of the sky.

    Steve Gingold

    June 18, 2020 at 7:24 AM

    • I like your analysis. A big part of the appeal for me was that the branches and clouds were askew, with only a few insignificant elements vertical or horizontal. And yes, the colors worked well together.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 18, 2020 at 7:39 AM

  9. […] 13. Snowy Egret – Twitter 14. Cinnabar moth caterpillars on ragwort – Twitter 15. Flowering paloverde tree and clouds – blogpost 16. Paloverde tree in full flower – blogpost 17. Wispy paloverde tree – […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: