Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

A good sunflower colony

with 35 comments

Click to enlarge.

A recent post focused on two sunflowers in a large colony. Now here’s a panorama showing how wild sunflowers (Helianthus annuus) can take over a field. I found this bright yellow colony on the Blackland Prairie along Gregg-Manor Rd. east of TX 130 on June 10th. Texas knows how to do wildflowers, yes indeed.

I’m tempted to say the way I cropped this photograph shows the influence of my Indian friend Pano Rama, but I would never say such a thing.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 15, 2020 at 7:45 AM

35 Responses

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  1. At least you didn’t punish us with a bad photo!


    June 15, 2020 at 7:50 AM

    • Now you’ve reminded me of “Let the punishment fit the crime”:


      Steve Schwartzman

      June 15, 2020 at 7:58 AM

      • If I’ve heard that, it didn’t stick, but the lyrics are hilarious, and remarkably contemporary. I especially enjoyed this section: as good an explanation for my career change as there could be:

        “All prosy dull society sinners,
        Who chatter and bleat and bore,
        Are sent to hear sermons
        From mystical Germans
        Who preach from ten till four.”

        Those “mystical Germans” can wear a person out.


        June 15, 2020 at 8:10 AM

        • Who’d have thought this song would come so close to home for you? The next time the Mikado plays in Houston (which does have a Gilbert and Sullivan group), perhaps you can go see a performance.

          Steve Schwartzman

          June 15, 2020 at 2:12 PM

  2. Your photo makes me a bit envious, Steve. Texas must be the land where all sorts of wildflowers flourish. Here in Canada, we have to put seeds into the ground to enjoy the sight of a few sunflowers in our garden. Over there in Texas, they grow wild in abundance. Great photo inspired by your friend Pano!

    Peter Klopp

    June 15, 2020 at 7:58 AM

    • Texas is indeed the land where all sorts of wildflowers flourish. That’s why I never run out of pictures to post here. While it’s not that way up there, you have scenery that nothing here can come close to rivaling.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 15, 2020 at 2:09 PM

  3. A great panorama, am realising it is such a skill to take meadow photos.


    June 15, 2020 at 8:03 AM

    • It can be hard. In this case the meadow was fenced so I had to use a long telephoto lens, which in turn meant I didn’t get as much depth of field as I would have liked. Oh well, you take what you can get, and having all the farther sunflowers out of focus isn’t so bad. Some people even prefer it.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 15, 2020 at 2:15 PM

  4. Before I click to enlarge, I need my sunglasses. 🙂 Great shot of these happy, sunny beauties!


    June 15, 2020 at 8:03 AM

  5. I have some friends now living outside of Austin and your wonderful wildflower photos, Steven, have made me realize that early June would be a wonderful time to visit them next year.

    Mike Powell

    June 15, 2020 at 8:32 AM

    • If you can swing it, late May would let you see more of the tail end of our spring wildflower season. In early June the sunflowers are going strong, true, but other things will probably have passed their prime. Whenever you come, let me know and we can go out in nature.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 15, 2020 at 2:36 PM

      • My friends actually live in Pflugerville, a place that I noted you had visited during your recent photo forays. I am retired now so I have a pretty good amount of flexibility in timing.

        Mike Powell

        June 15, 2020 at 2:51 PM

        • Happy retirement. If you came in the second week of May you could see that fantastic wildflower meadow in Pflugerville—provided it lasts another year.

          Steve Schwartzman

          June 15, 2020 at 2:55 PM

  6. There is nothing that says “Joy!” like a colony of sunflowers!

    Lavinia Ross

    June 15, 2020 at 8:34 AM

  7. RAD!


    June 15, 2020 at 10:32 AM

  8. Texas sure does know how to grow wildflowers! Unfortunately, they don’t really grow naturally in my part of the state, but I planted a bunch in my backyard flower bed along with zinnias and a whole mess of things. They’re growing nicely and I can’t wait to see the blooms.

    Kaleigh Brillon

    June 15, 2020 at 10:37 AM

    • West Texas can be hard a hard place, given the limited rainfall. You might do well to plant some of the wildflowers that grow natively in your area and that have evolved to thrive in that climate.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 15, 2020 at 2:48 PM

  9. Boom!

    Michael Scandling

    June 15, 2020 at 10:40 AM

  10. A fabulous field, and your telephoto did just fine.


    June 15, 2020 at 6:33 PM

    • Speaking of f’s, I believe this field is normally agricultural; leaving it fallow let the sunflowers take over. Similarly, I recently went to check out a field that I saw wonderfully covered with sunflowers some years ago, and this year I found it plowed in preparation for cultivation.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 15, 2020 at 9:13 PM

  11. A “good” sunflower colony… have you ever seen a “bad” colony” of native plants/wildflowers?


    June 16, 2020 at 3:39 AM

  12. […] the morning of June 10, after I took pictures of wildflowers at a few places on the Blackland Prairie in far northeast Austin, I wandered south and then west to […]

  13. I say, I say…That’s a lot of flowers, son.

    Steve Gingold

    June 20, 2020 at 12:58 PM

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