Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Paloverde parts

with 23 comments

From August 25th at Mopac and US 183, here are the ever cheery flowers of a paloverde tree (Parkinsonia aculeata). I also did a closeup of one of the tree’s drying pods.

Below is a minimalist view of a paloverde leaf whose curling tip had turned reddish.

And here’s an unrelated quotation for today:
“Sensible people don’t grieve over what they don’t have but rejoice in what they do have.”
Epictetus, Fragments.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 23, 2020 at 4:41 AM

23 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. The quote you picked is absolutely related! 😉 Beautiful shots!

    marina kanavaki

    September 23, 2020 at 6:27 AM

  2. Lovely shots, Steve! The Paloverde is one of my favorite trees. I planted one 15(?) years ago, it grew so fast! Mine doesn’t quite bloom as much as it once did, but it’s a huge draw for all sorts of pollinators and I’ve always noticed that other birds eat something, probably insects, along the limbs.


    September 23, 2020 at 7:51 AM

    • What’s not to like about a tree with deliciously colored bark, bright yellow flowers, distinctive leaves, and textured pods? It’s good to hear you’ve got one at home, and that it’s a big draw for all sorts of pollinators.

      For several years I photographed a paloverde in the unfenced yard bordering the nearest entrance to Great Hills Park. Then for a reason I’ve never understood the people gradually cut parts of it off, and now it’s all gone. Too bad.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 23, 2020 at 8:22 AM

  3. I have never heard of this tree, but I think I’m in love now! Cheery is a perfect word to describe those bright flowers. As for the quote, I wish there were more folks thinking that way. I think a person is happier when they’re thankful and appreciative.


    September 23, 2020 at 8:10 AM

    • I checked the USDA map and found that paloverdes don’t grow natively anywhere in Oklahoma. Quite a few of the ones I see in Austin have been planted in people’s yards, so maybe there are some planted specimens near you, too, unless it’s too cold for this species up there.

      Epictetus was a couple of millennia ahead of the “Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive” song from 1944:

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 23, 2020 at 8:40 AM

  4. I love the tousled-hair look of Paloverde; the orange and yellow flowers always remind me of partridge pea. The combination of the photos and the quotation is especially apt for this area. The Seabrook side of the Hwy 146 bridge was lined with the most beautiful Paloverdes; unfortunately, they’ve fallen to the road expansion. The yellow and orange construction cranes are nice, but they’re not quite the same.

    Now that I’ve checked out wind damage in the piney woods, I’ll have to check out water damage on Galveston Island — once I can get there. I heard this morning that the Artist Boat looks like a lake, and the water was past the dunes on the Bluewater Highway, where the Hamby Nature Trail is. It ought to be interesting.


    September 23, 2020 at 8:42 AM

    • I see why these flowers remind you of partridge pea, which is in the same botanical family. I’m sorry to hear that the road expansion near you brought down “your” majestic paloverdes. You may have seen in my reply to Tina that I mentioned the gradual cutting down of one that I enjoyed photographing for years at the entrance to Great Hills Park. Your case is worse, what with a whole line of the trees now gone.

      I bet you’ll find lots of interesting things once you make it back to the places you mentioned. Temporary high water allows for unusual combinations of natural elements.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 23, 2020 at 8:57 AM

  5. I love these cheerful images of the flowers of a paloverde tree. It seems you are still in the middle of summer, Steve.

    Peter Klopp

    September 23, 2020 at 8:42 AM

    • Compared to where you are in British Columbia, Austin is almost always in the middle of summer, even when we’re in the middle of winter. This picture is from a month ago, when temperatures reached the 90s every day. We’re cooler now, but the forecast still calls for highs in the 80s in the week ahead. That’s normal here for the latter part of September. Still, botanically speaking, our fall wildflowers have started coming out.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 23, 2020 at 9:03 AM

      • I would visit Texas in winter, when the temperature is just right for me.

        Peter Klopp

        September 23, 2020 at 9:41 PM

        • That would be a good time for you, temperature-wise, although wildflowers aren’t numerous here in winter.

          Steve Schwartzman

          September 23, 2020 at 10:31 PM

  6. And so I will not grieve that I do not have these wonderful trees here, but will instead rejoice that you share pictures of them. What a glorious shot of the flower, and so interesting to see the pod and the leaf.


    September 23, 2020 at 9:40 AM

    • All the parts of the paloverde are enticing for a nature photographer. Not shown in these pictures are the paloverde’s red thorns:


      Your first sentence is well said. You’ve reminded me now of the ending to Tennyson’s “Ulysses”:

      Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’
      We are not now that strength which in old days
      Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
      One equal temper of heroic hearts,
      Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
      To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 23, 2020 at 10:44 AM

  7. Contemplating the drying pod, my imagination relates it to a very thin bird, stretching out its head, seen from below.


    September 24, 2020 at 5:13 AM

  8. A pop of yellow … very cheery! 🙂


    September 28, 2020 at 12:48 PM

  9. I love these – I enjoyed seeing Paloverde in Arizona from time to time, it’s an interesting plant.


    September 28, 2020 at 7:17 PM

    • Funny you should mention Arizona. I’ve recently been preparing October posts that’ll mark the four-year anniversaries of stops in various places we visited on our big western trip in 2016. In one post I’ll be showing a paloverde in Phoenix; two native species grow there, neither of which is the one shown here in Austin.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 28, 2020 at 8:26 PM

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 )

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: