Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Like an alien moon in the coldness of space

with 35 comments

Buffalo gourd, Cucurbita foetidissima, along Lost Horizon Drive on December 29, 2020.

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 8, 2021 at 4:37 AM

Posted in nature photography

Tagged with , , , ,

35 Responses

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  1. “Buffalo moon, won’t you come out tonight, and dance by the light of — that other moon!” (You surely know the song.)

    Between the dark background and the gourd’s splotches, it really does appear moon-like. It seems you took advantage of a few inches of clearance, or dug a trench. Most buffalo gourds I find are flat on the ground.


    January 8, 2021 at 7:27 AM

    • As birds leave the ground when taking flight, let’s say I took artistic license for a flight of fancy by lifting the gourd off the ground to portray it against the threatening clouds. As you’re familiar with this species, no fanciful presentation could buffalo you.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 8, 2021 at 7:41 AM

  2. The title comparing it with an alien moon describes very well the gourd that you captured for us to see. Was it still hanging on the vine? Quite a sight in the dead of winter, Steve!

    Peter Klopp

    January 8, 2021 at 9:33 AM

    • Buffalo gourd plants creep along the ground, and therefore their fruits lie on the ground as well. To get this photograph I claimed artistic license and held up one of the gourds so I could photograph it unencumbered against the dark clouds.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 8, 2021 at 10:03 AM

      • My wife sometimes smiles even frowns when I remove a branch or just a grass stalk to enhance my composition. You and I are on similar tracks there, Steve.

        Peter Klopp

        January 8, 2021 at 1:40 PM

  3. Interesting and beautiful shot, Steve.

    Jane Lurie

    January 8, 2021 at 9:50 AM

  4. That is a beautiful, artistic photo, Steve. No moon visible here, it was and still is overcast and raining.

    Lavinia Ross

    January 8, 2021 at 9:53 AM

    • No clouds, however dark, could eclipse my view of this lunar buffalo gourd. Like you, we have overcast skies in Austin this morning, though no rain.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 8, 2021 at 10:06 AM

  5. Congratulations on the first successful moonshot of 2021.

    Michael Scandling

    January 8, 2021 at 11:04 AM

  6. Excellent!

    Eliza Waters

    January 8, 2021 at 4:31 PM

  7. The south pole really does look cratered, and the splotch at upper left, rather than marring the effect, rather adds something to the lunar effect–perhaps a Mare bisonium?


    January 8, 2021 at 11:21 PM

  8. Love it!

    Ellen Jennings

    January 9, 2021 at 8:24 AM

  9. Looks a bit like the Empire’s Death Star. Do they get used as rattles like some other gourds?

    Steve Gingold

    January 13, 2021 at 3:59 AM

  10. 🙂 Always thought that the moon in the photo behind Conan O’Brien’s desk looked like a melon!


    January 13, 2021 at 11:56 AM

    • I wasn’t familiar with that photograph of the moon so I looked it up: melony for sure. I’m content to have made the opposite association.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 13, 2021 at 12:54 PM

  11. A handsome specimen (well I think so) from the cucurbit family! Great shot Steve …


    January 15, 2021 at 1:11 AM

  12. Amazing picture!

    AstroPhoto Fun

    February 3, 2021 at 1:33 PM

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