Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Waterfall Wednesday #3

with 49 comments

You’ll forgive me if I’ve let the definition of waterfall spill over into unaccustomed semantic territory. After recent rain, on June 4th along Bull Creek there was indeed water falling from a cliff. Down it came in many narrow streams, some over moss-covered rocks, others over maidenhair ferns, Adiantum capillus-veneris. It seems botanists have done a bit of semantic boundary-pushing, too: the species name for these maidenhair ferns means ‘hair of Venus,’ yet from what I’ve read of Roman mythology, Venus was no modest maiden.

In “Thoughts in a Garden” English poet Andrew Marvell wrote:

No white nor red was ever seen
So amorous as this lovely green.

Today’s pictures don’t show a garden, yet the greens they deliver to your eyes are a marvel.
(Related English words that also trace back to Latin are miracle, mirage, mirror, and admire.)

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 23, 2021 at 4:32 AM

Posted in nature photography

Tagged with , , , , ,

49 Responses

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  1. Marvellous images indeed but I hadn’t really thought of green as amorous. Personally I have always found green to be a calming colour. I will have to reconsider my ideas about green.


    June 23, 2021 at 5:43 AM

  2. Ferns and moss-covered rocks are typically not something I think of seeing when I consider Texas landscape. This is a gorgeous area. These images are soothing. Did you get wet or were you prepared for the rain that day?


    June 23, 2021 at 7:02 AM

    • I get the impression that your reaction is widespread: many people don’t realize that we have such lush places in central Texas. We used to live on the flat eastern side of Austin that mostly lacked canyons like this, but for 17 years now we’ve lived in a hilly northwestern section of town where scenes like this are pretty common, at least if you know where to look.

      When I headed for this spot, which is about 4 miles from home, I wore thigh-high rubber boots because I anticipated having to walk in Bull Creek or wet/muddy areas on the bank. When I arrived at this particular area with all the streams of water still coming down from the cliff, my shirt got a little wet as I dashed through the drops to get safely under the overhang. I actually could have walked around and avoid the falling water altogether, as I did when I left.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 23, 2021 at 8:29 AM

  3. The recent rains have given us some nice photographic opportunities.

    Jason Frels

    June 23, 2021 at 7:38 AM

  4. That looks so cool and refreshing — although it may not be. There was a time in my life when I assumed the forests of east Texas would be cool and refreshing in summertime. I may have been thinking about Minnesota.

    You’ve produced more than a few images, like the second, that bring to mind the song “MacArthur Park,” and all that “sweet green icing” melting down. In the second image, even the rock seems to be flowing.


    June 23, 2021 at 7:46 AM

    • Texas as Minnesota—now there’s a concept. We’ve had lots of high humidity here lately. I opened the front door a couple of hours ago, as I often do in the morning to get a feel for the day, and even at that early hour the air felt steamy.

      Some critics panned that song but I’ve always liked it. Unlike most Americans, I associate it at least in part with Honduras, which is where I used to hear it. I may have mentioned that a couple of decades ago we went to hear Jimmy Webb perform his songs in a small venue on campus. The version we heard of “MacArthur Park” sung by the composer accompanying himself on a piano was very different from the fully orchestrated version Richard Harris popularized. I like both.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 23, 2021 at 8:42 AM

  5. It’s so tropical and unexpected for TX! To me anyway. It’s beautiful and my favorite color…green! 💚


    June 23, 2021 at 8:08 AM

    • Then happy green. You had the same reaction as Lori (littlesundog) above. Here’s how I answered her: Many people don’t realize that we have such lush places in central Texas. We used to live on the flat eastern side of Austin that mostly lacked canyons like this, but for 17 years now we’ve lived in a hilly northwestern section of town where scenes like this are pretty common, at least if you know where to look.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 23, 2021 at 8:44 AM

  6. This is a refreshing sight of water falling over the rich green of the maidenhair fern, especially in the present heatwave in the Interior of BC.

    Peter Klopp

    June 23, 2021 at 8:53 AM

  7. What a beautiful scene, especially at this time of year out here when we are headed for the low 100s this weekend!

    Lavinia Ross

    June 23, 2021 at 8:54 AM

    • It is a beautiful scene, one I check out after we’ve had substantial rain. Now it’s hot and humid here, too. In the almost three weeks since I took these pictures the water flow has gone down a lot because we’ve had almost no more rain since then. The long and hot Texas summer has begun.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 23, 2021 at 9:21 AM

  8. This reminds me of my first waterfalls hike in California. We hiked to see nine waterfalls. Having grown up in the tropics, I wasn’t impressed.

    Alessandra Chaves

    June 23, 2021 at 10:14 AM

    • No, daughter of the tropics that you are, there was no reason to be impressed. Still, in a place like central Texas, not particularly known for waterfalls, I’m glad for the few that we do have, and even for dripping water of the sort shown in these two pictures.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 23, 2021 at 2:25 PM

      • The friend who took me to these waterfalls was born and grew up in the rice fields of California. He didn’t understand my disappointment. There is however at least one waterfall in California I have found impressive, the McArthur-Burney Falls.

        Alessandra Chaves

        June 23, 2021 at 2:49 PM

  9. Nice


    June 23, 2021 at 10:26 AM

  10. The maidenhair ferns also look as if they’re dripping down the cliff – fernfall?

    Ann Mackay

    June 23, 2021 at 12:32 PM

    • You’ve come up with a good alliterative term: fernfall. Fortunately the ferns don’t fall off the cliff, however much they may hang. You could say they’ve got a knack for hanging on.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 23, 2021 at 2:13 PM

  11. While I do prefer cascading flows of water, a nice cool seep is inviting as well and I like finding damp spots with a trickle and wet ferns. These are both nice finds.

    Steve Gingold

    June 23, 2021 at 2:16 PM

    • We have some but not a whole lot of good waterfalls here, so I value even something sort of waterfall-y like this cliff after a week of rain. From the same period I’ll have more actual waterfall pictures on the next several Wednesdays.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 23, 2021 at 2:40 PM

  12. Such a lovely place to visit .. Green and gorgeous.


    June 23, 2021 at 2:21 PM

    • You’ve got a much bigger share of such things in New Zealand, as I found to my pleasure during our two visits there. Here we have to treasure whatever we can along those lines.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 23, 2021 at 2:42 PM

  13. The language lesson continues, Steve. Maybe in your next life you will be a linguist?!

    With respect to the mosses and ferns, their lovely greenness (or green loveliness?) are lovable, indeed.


    June 23, 2021 at 2:25 PM

  14. Absolutely beautiful, Steve.

    Michael Scandling

    June 23, 2021 at 8:41 PM

  15. WOW … you brought out a lot of texture in these!


    June 30, 2021 at 11:55 AM

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