Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Yellow and blue

with 31 comments

While at a construction site in southern Round Rock on August 1st I photographed central Texas’s answer to the pussy willow, the golden dalea (Dalea aurea). I also made a portrait of a sunflower (Helianthus annuus).

As I said, this was a construction site, and across the lower section of the sunflower picture you see part of a long ridge of earth that bulldozers had heaped up. In a few of my pictures I made that ridge a subject in its own right, overflown and enhanced by the day’s wispy clouds.

And here’s a tip for today: I recently stumbled across the Good News Network, which lives up to its name by providing good news from around the world. That’s a much-need balance to the endless tales of woe and outrage that so many other news outlets feature. Check it out and see what you think.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 31, 2020 at 4:43 AM

31 Responses

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  1. Good views and good news–how much we need it now!+


    August 31, 2020 at 4:47 AM

  2. Yellow and blue is a favorite color combination of mine, and you’ve done it proud here. You’ve even managed to find beauty in a construction site!
    As for the Good News, that was just what I needed. I’ve signed up for it~thanks for sharing that.


    August 31, 2020 at 7:52 AM

    • Happy blue and yellow from this photographic fellow. Over the years, construction sites have provided me with many opportunities for pictures—even if those opportunities are short-lived. Sunflowers are known for springing up in such places, as a bunch of them had at this site, and I took advantage of that. Unfortunately this area was part of a larger construction project that destroyed one of my favorite sites for basket-flowers.

      When I came across the Good News Network I was immediately reminded of a newspaper I became acquainted with as a teenager. It was called Grit, and it featured positive stories. I see from the Wikipedia article at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grit_(newspaper) that the editorial policy was:

      “Always keep Grit from being pessimistic. Avoid printing those things which distort the minds of readers or make them feel at odds with the world. Avoid showing the wrong side of things, or making people feel discontented. Do nothing that will encourage fear, worry, or temptation… Wherever possible, suggest peace and good will toward men. Give our readers courage and strength for their daily tasks. Put happy thoughts, cheer, and contentment into their hearts.”

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 31, 2020 at 8:08 AM

      • That is a policy I wish all the media outlets would practice.


        August 31, 2020 at 8:13 AM

        • I won’t deny that people need to know about problems, too, but things have gotten way out of balance at many outlets. You’ve probably heard the adage “if it bleeds it leads [the news].” Worse, as I mentioned in an earlier conversation, some outlets even purposely omit facts that would cast a story in a fairer and less sensational light.

          Steve Schwartzman

          August 31, 2020 at 8:22 AM

          • It is true and evidently is so easy for them to do. I’m so gullible it is probably best for me to just skip the news.


            September 1, 2020 at 7:46 AM

            • That’s why in our previous conversation I suggested not drawing conclusions from the early reports of an incident. The people making those reports sometimes slant them in an ideological way. What’s worse, from my point of view, is that some of those people continue to maintain the slanted narrative even after facts have emerged that call that narrative into question or outright disprove it.

              Steve Schwartzman

              September 1, 2020 at 8:00 AM

              • All of that is true and I am trying to bring that perspective to new stories I see. However I still maintain that police office had no business shooting the man, in the back, 7 times. That is a fundamental fact in the case and justifications that have been floated make it right.


                September 1, 2020 at 8:31 AM

                • If you’re interested in an article by a lawyer who offers legal reasons (with many quotations from existing case law) for why the shooting can be considered justified, let me know and I’ll provide a link. In any case, we’ll wait and see how things play out.

                  Steve Schwartzman

                  September 1, 2020 at 9:04 AM

                • I guess I wouldn’t be convinced. I must say, here, that I am a supporter of the police. I just feel that they seem to be using unreasonable force these days and I, for one, am growing afraid. One day a couple of years ago I was speaking with a black youth in front of my gallery. Suddenly there was a cop, in my face, shouting at me for talking to the youth. I later heard that he is a known racist. There are very few blacks in my community and I guess he assumed this young man was a criminal and I was encouraging him by talking to him, or something. That was a scary moment for me and it changed how I look at police officers.


                  September 1, 2020 at 2:15 PM

                • I’m sorry you had that bad experience.

                  Steve Schwartzman

                  September 1, 2020 at 2:42 PM

                • Me too. It tarnished my view of the world.


                  September 2, 2020 at 9:01 AM

  3. After looking at your sunflower photo so cheerfully presented, I felt compelled to look at the good-news site. I bookmarked it immediately. Good news is badly needed in our chaotic and depressing media world.

    Peter Klopp

    August 31, 2020 at 8:36 AM

    • Amen about the good news. And yes, sunflowers seem inherently cheerful. I’m fortunate to live in a place where they flower in large numbers in the late spring and keep flowering sporadically through autumn.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 31, 2020 at 8:42 AM

  4. Such cheery and cheering photos. I just love yellow and blue together and those wispy clouds are the “cheery” on top.


    August 31, 2020 at 10:42 AM

  5. I like the sky photo. I checked out the site, lots of good science news included!

    jane tims

    August 31, 2020 at 6:07 PM

    • The sky was luscious that day, no doubt about it.
      Good science news is welcome, as are other kinds of good news. I’m glad you checked out the site.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 31, 2020 at 9:28 PM

  6. Nice pix, Steve. I’ve been a fan of GNN for years – the only news I need!

    Eliza Waters

    August 31, 2020 at 8:58 PM

  7. It’s fun seeing your golden dalea. I found two nice colonies when I was in the hill country at the end of June. While the plants weren’t in a construction zone, their environment was similar. Some were in a gravelly section of shoulder along the Willow City loop, and the others were atop a limestone outcrop on TX39 between Vanderpool and Hunt. I didn’t know what they were, but then I remembered the dalea I found on Galvston Island, and that helped to solve the mystery. They’re such pretty flowers — but those long stems made them tough to photograph in the wind.


    August 31, 2020 at 9:03 PM

    • I smiled to see the GNN featuring an article from Scientific American about the mathematics of sunflowers.


      August 31, 2020 at 9:09 PM

    • It’s not often that I see golden daleas, so when I do I usually don’t pass up the chance for pictures. I see that I photographed this one at 1/500 of a second, a speed fast enough to compensate for some movement in the subject or the camera. There’s almost always a breeze on the prairie.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 31, 2020 at 10:24 PM

  8. We DO need more good news. Oh, there’s something about that yellow and blue in the first photo that really is joyous.


    September 4, 2020 at 7:50 PM

    • Speaking of good news, that’s what gospel means. In the Old English form, gōdspel, the good was still recognizable.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 4, 2020 at 11:16 PM

      • That one I knew. 🙂 Not the Old English but the general idea – one hears that often I think, in Christian religious circles. Not that I’ve ever spent time in one. But I hear stuff. 😉


        September 18, 2020 at 2:59 PM

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