Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Berry Creek in winter

with 23 comments

On a sunny, breezy January 31st we went* to Berry Springs Park in Georgetown. The first picture plays up a disembodied tree shadow that aligns well with the reflection of large trees far away, while water wends* the wind’s way in the second picture. Both images play up diagonals and blend blue with green.

* Did you know that went was originally a past tense of wend? (Compare bend ~ bent and send ~ sent.) Eventually wended survived as the only past tense of wend, while went wended its way over to go and drove out that verb’s original past tense. The technical name for the linguistic process in which a form of one word replaces a form of a different word is suppletion. Another familiar example of suppletion occurred in English with good, whose comparative and superlative are better and best, which are related to each other but not to good. Latin went it one better, with bonus, melior, and optimus all unrelated to one another.

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 13, 2021 at 4:40 AM

23 Responses

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  1. Good one


    February 13, 2021 at 5:04 AM

  2. Floating plants in reflections


    February 13, 2021 at 5:05 AM

  3. No ice in winter, what a concept!!


    February 13, 2021 at 5:28 AM

    • For once that’s not the case in Austin. These pictures are from two weeks ago. Two days ago we had an ice storm and the weight of the ice has brought down many tree limbs, including some in our yard. The forecast is calling for snow on Sunday or Monday and the temperature is supposed to go down to as low as 20°.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 13, 2021 at 6:18 AM

      • I remember frightening ice storms while driving across Texas on the way to somewhere else.


        February 13, 2021 at 6:24 AM

        • I’ve driven with snow coming down but have never driven through an ice storm. That must have been scary for you. I remember spinning out once on an icy patch in upstate New York; fortunately there was no damage.

          Steve Schwartzman

          February 13, 2021 at 6:30 AM

  4. Your first picture displays a very interesting combination of shadow and reflection. Berry Creek appears to be a very slow-moving body of water. There is an abundance of algae, which adds a touch of green to the creek’s colour.

    Peter Klopp

    February 13, 2021 at 8:30 AM

    • While I’ve done pictures that play up shadows and other pictures that play up reflections, it’s rare that I’ve combined them the way I was able to here. We haven’t had a lot of rain the past few months, so I may have caught Berry Creek at a low level. Not having visited in at least a decade, I don’t remember how it looked the last time I was there. I also don’t know if the algae that are photographically inviting are a good sign or a bad sign for the health of the creek.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 13, 2021 at 8:55 AM

  5. Beautiful photos, Steve. I’ll bet the photos would be very different if you took them this morning! The colors evoke an Impressionist look and feel.


    February 13, 2021 at 8:37 AM

    • There is something of an Impressionist feel to these, isn’t there? I’m pretty sure you’re right about how the creek would look today. Given the icy roads, I wouldn’t travel to Georgetown to find out. I did, however, spend close to two hours in Great Hills Park yesterday photographing ice on trees: possumhaws, cedar elms, Ashe junipers, oaks. Given that we’re apparently going to stay below freezing for a few more days, I’m hoping some shallow water in my neighborhood will freeze so I can get pictures of a sort not normally available here.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 13, 2021 at 9:00 AM

  6. Very nice feel to both of these images. Blue and green coming together with tree shadows – nice. The word “wend” was another treat. I haven’t heard that word in a very long time. My German grandmother used to use it anytime she spoke of a small creek (crick) just beyond the barn at the farm. One could follow that small waterway several miles, wending its way through farm land all of the way to the Big Blue River.


    February 13, 2021 at 3:58 PM

    • Good for your German grandmother for using wend. I think it’s uncommon now, but the alliteration in wend its way keeps the verb alive. It’s nice that you had a creek you could walk several miles along, all the way to the Big Blue River. Maybe one day you’ll do a post about that.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 13, 2021 at 5:09 PM

  7. I remember my mother using “wend” freely and always liked the sound of it and the feelings it conveyed. So thanks for the reminder–and also for the bonus of the enlightenment on suppletion.


    February 13, 2021 at 5:28 PM

    • I wonder to what extent your children use “wend.” As for suppletion, I learned the word at least 50 years ago in a linguistics class and it has stayed with me ever since.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 14, 2021 at 5:04 AM

  8. Once this cold weather has passed, it would be interesting to go back to this spot and take another look at the water. I was listening to our outdoor show on radio early this morning, and some fishermen were talking about how clear the water became after other significant cold spells. Apparently it kills back the algae and such, and allows seeing well below the surface.

    In the second photo, are those shadows on the far bank, or vines/roots running down to the water? It’s interesting how their shape echoes that of the ripples on the water’s surface.


    February 13, 2021 at 6:07 PM

    • Don’t think I’ve ever heard about a cold spell making water clearer. I’ll keep my eyes open to that possibility.

      With sub-freezing temperatures predicted to stay here for four more days, I’m hopeful some shallow water in nearby creeks (but hopefully not in our house’s three external faucets!) will freeze so I can get some more ice pictures.

      In the second photo, you’re seeing tree shadows on the far bank of the creek. In central Texas, most wooded areas have at least some vines in them, so there probably were vines higher up and further back from the top fringe of the picture.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 14, 2021 at 10:36 AM

  9. I enjoyed the photos and educational nugget at the end, Steve. 🙂

    Another rainy day up here.

    Lavinia Ross

    February 13, 2021 at 7:45 PM

  10. A nice warm day like that will return once your infortunate dose of winter passes. Blue and green make for a nice combination, especially with sunny conditions.

    Steve Gingold

    February 16, 2021 at 3:09 AM

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