Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Another mini-meadow

with 17 comments

A recent post showed you a mini-meadow in bloom along Yaupon Dr. on the far side of my neighborhood. From the same area on June 2nd, here’s another. The many yellow flower heads are four-nerve daisies (Tetraneuris linearifolia) and those at the left with reddish-brown centers are a species of Coreopsis. The more numerous but smaller flowers are yellow stonecrop (Sedum nuttallianum), which you get a much closer and slightly fresher look at in the photo below, taken nearby on May 21st.

And here’s a relevant quotation:

“Le jaune est le fils aîné de la lumière, et il ne faut pas s’étonner qu’une nation de coloristes, les Chinois, le regardent comme la plus belle des couleurs. Sans le jaune, il n’y a point de spectacle splendide.” — Charles Blanc, Grammaire des arts décoratifs, 1870.

“Yellow is the eldest child of light, and you shouldn’t be surprised that a nation of colorists, the Chinese, regard it as the most beautiful of colors. Without yellow there are no splendid spectacles.” — Charles Blanc, Grammar of the Decorative Arts, 1870.

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 7, 2021 at 4:28 AM

17 Responses

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  1. Lots of happy yellow to love this morning. I have yellow stonecrop in a couple of flowerbeds. It is a nice ground cover and it fills in blank spots, providing a nice splash of color. It also does well in poor soil.

    Littlesundog

    June 7, 2021 at 7:14 AM

    • Happy yellow to us both, and to us all. It’s good to hear you’re familiar with yellow stonecrop, too. I’ve seen it cover shallow swaths of limestone-rich ground and sometimes make an arc around the edge of actual limestone. I spotted the plants long before they flowered, which may have been delayed this year by the February freeze.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 7, 2021 at 8:22 AM

  2. Along the road leading to my friend’s place outside Kerrville, there’s a similar combination of stonecrop and four-nerve daisies on the rocky land. In one spot, both are growing in and around a grove of live oaks; as Texas a scene as any bluebonnety hill.

    shoreacres

    June 7, 2021 at 8:10 AM

    • You said it and said it well: “as Texas a scene as any bluebonnety hill.” I think botanists document plant associations; I know I’ve always been interested in their combinations. Individual species may grow across a broad range, but combinations of plants often distinguish one place from another.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 7, 2021 at 8:28 AM

  3. The quotation about the yellow colour is very relevant indeed when I marvel at yet another floral carpet, Steve.

    Peter Klopp

    June 7, 2021 at 8:58 AM

    • It’s a week into June and summer’s almost upon us, yet I’m still seeing some of those floral carpets here.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 7, 2021 at 1:49 PM

  4. I like the crop you decided on for the stonecrop.

    Steve Gingold

    June 7, 2021 at 6:47 PM

  5. Luminous flowers, and an illuminating quote to accompany them.

    tanjabrittonwriter

    June 8, 2021 at 6:21 PM

    • I’d say yellow contributes to that luminosity. “The eldest child of light” is a poetic phrase.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 8, 2021 at 7:22 PM

      • I liked that phrase, too.

        tanjabrittonwriter

        June 8, 2021 at 9:23 PM

        • In replying to another comment just now I wrote the following, which may interest you, too:

          The French original says “the eldest son of light,” and it wasn’t clear to me if the writer was using the word in its literal sense or as a generic for both sexes. Modern predilections being what they are, I went with “child” rather than “son.” Interestingly, a 19th century translator of the book into English wrote “the eldest daughter of light,” which the original French could not have meant.

          Steve Schwartzman

          June 9, 2021 at 6:07 AM

          • That IS interesting, Steve. To foster inclusivity “child” would be the better translation.

            tanjabrittonwriter

            June 9, 2021 at 5:42 PM

            • Translating text from centuries ago sometimes presents problems. To be true to the spirit of a long-ago time, a translator sometimes has to go with a word or phrase that’s different from what a majority of people would probably say today. As L.P. Hartley said in the first sentence of his 1953 novel The Go-Between: “The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.”

              Steve Schwartzman

              June 9, 2021 at 6:39 PM

              • True. That’s what prefaces, endnotes, or footnotes could be used for.
                Likening the past to a foreign country helps put things in perspective.

                tanjabrittonwriter

                June 9, 2021 at 7:05 PM

  6. ‘The eldest child of light’ is such a wonderful phrase that it will stick in my mind for a while… 🙂

    Ann Mackay

    June 9, 2021 at 5:58 AM

    • I understand why. The French original says “the eldest son of light,” and it wasn’t clear to me if the writer was using the word in its literal sense or as a generic for both sexes. Modern predilections being what they are, I went with “child” rather than “son.” Interestingly, a 19th century translator of the book into English wrote “the eldest daughter of light,” which the original French could not have meant.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 9, 2021 at 6:05 AM


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