Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Ferns and mosses at Bull Creek Park

with 54 comments

Five years ago today I visited Bull Creek District Park, where I found these mosses and southern maidenhair ferns (Adiantum capillus-veneris) thriving on a cliff along Bull Creek after heavy rains in May.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 29, 2020 at 4:44 AM

54 Responses

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  1. Beautiful. I’d have thought this was a scene from the damp Northeast.

    Robert Parker

    June 29, 2020 at 6:13 AM

    • People from other places are often surprised that central Texas has some places like this. I’ve seen it looking less lush, but that spring we’d had some torrential rain.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 29, 2020 at 7:11 AM

  2. We love ferns, ancient plants.


    June 29, 2020 at 6:25 AM

  3. i love ferns and mosses, and this is a lovely spot


    June 29, 2020 at 6:38 AM

  4. This would be a great place to cool off on a hot summer day! The plants appear to be thriving on the bare rocks. Very impressive photo, Steve!

    Peter Klopp

    June 29, 2020 at 7:40 AM

    • The plants sure were thriving here five years ago today, thanks to heavy rain. I’m afraid that on many summer days the green of this little alcove shades to brown, and the adjacent stretch of Bull Creek often slows to a trickle.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 29, 2020 at 7:46 AM

  5. How pretty! You’ve found a bit of tropical rain forest there.


    June 29, 2020 at 9:15 AM

  6. Green green
    It’s green they say,
    On the dark side of the hill.

    Michael Scandling

    June 29, 2020 at 10:06 AM

    • I didn’t initially catch the reference. Once I found and played the song, it was familiar, even though I hadn’t heard it in decades.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 29, 2020 at 11:24 AM

      • Lead vocalist as Barry McGuire, best known for the Eve of Destruction, and the worst version of Monday Monday ever released. Same recording session as when the Mamas and the Papas did their version of their own song. Same backing tracks and backing vocals on both.

        Michael Scandling

        June 29, 2020 at 11:27 AM

  7. This photo brings out the faerie in me.
    Beautiful photo to share

    Dawn Renee

    June 29, 2020 at 12:20 PM

  8. Wow, lovely ferns and moss – clearly loving the extra moisture.

    Eliza Waters

    June 29, 2020 at 2:05 PM

    • Loving the unusually high amount of rain we’d had. That year in May alone Austin got half as much as its average rainfall for a whole year.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 29, 2020 at 3:15 PM

  9. Beautiful greens! Around here, mosses are at their greenest in winter.


    June 29, 2020 at 8:18 PM

    • Well, linguistically speaking, the root in wet appears in nasalized form in winter, literally ‘the wet season.’

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 29, 2020 at 8:36 PM

  10. I do love a wet and weeping water-wall, and this is a beauty. My brother showed me a very similar one near his place in North Carlolina a few years back. I’ll have to revisit that soon, I think. Delightfully refreshing!


    June 30, 2020 at 2:49 AM

  11. Reminds me of a lovely maidenhair fern that my mum used to have on a bench in the kitchen but seeing them here in such a beautiful setting is stunning!

    Ms. Liz

    June 30, 2020 at 3:20 AM

    • I’d never have imagined your mother would have a maidenhair fern on a bench in her kitchen. I agree with you that the natural setting adds a lot.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 30, 2020 at 7:50 AM

      • It looked beautiful as did a lovely big cyclamen that flowered profusely with bright magenta flowers. Just those two that I remember, they were her special plants 🙂

        Ms. Liz

        June 30, 2020 at 3:06 PM

  12. Even in some of the driest places I visit, I can find native ferns in a micro climate. They can wither away in heat only to reappear after rain. Just recently I found some surviving on dew captured from granite rock crevices. Love yours☺


    June 30, 2020 at 4:46 AM

  13. We can only dream of heavy rains and lush, verdant colors, Steve. Heat, wind, and drought are not conducive to lushness.


    June 30, 2020 at 6:18 PM

    • Sorry to hear you’ve got heat, wind, and drought there. This pretty scene from five years ago resulted from the opposite affliction: half our average annual rainfall in one month.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 30, 2020 at 7:34 PM

  14. Very pretty composition and find!


    July 1, 2020 at 4:45 PM

  15. Ahh, the beautiful maidenhair fern, thanks for posting this!


    July 2, 2020 at 7:50 PM

  16. I’ve seen hints of such lush ferns and moss occasionally, but this is extraordinarily beautiful. Blake’s famous lines came to mind, here slightly revised:

    I will not cease attentiveness,
    Nor shall my lens sleep in my hand
    ‘Til I’ve recorded every sight
    Of Austin’s green & pleasant Land.


    July 3, 2020 at 8:23 PM

    • That’s an apt and clever revision of Blake. I’ve long been fond of the music that Hubert Parry set Blake’s words to in 1916 and that Edward Elgar then orchestrated.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 3, 2020 at 9:14 PM

  17. That has the appearance of something one might find in a rainforest. Or, as I saw above, a nice wet grotto.

    Steve Gingold

    July 4, 2020 at 4:18 PM

    • People from elsewhere are often surprised to find out that central Texas has places as green as this one. As I mentioned, the very heavy rain we got in the previous month helped the greenery along.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 4, 2020 at 4:48 PM

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