Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Green, green, and more green

with 23 comments


Wandering along Bull Creek on June 25, 2019, I couldn’t help noticing the dense swirls created by the very long linear leaves of some plants (sedges? beargrass?) that had found a home on the sometimes flooded bank of the creek. Mixed in were a few remnants of the wild onions (Allium canadense var. canadense) you saw here in May of that year. New giant ragweed plants (Ambrosia trifida) were coming up in some of the swirls:


I prepared this post almost two years ago but other things soon intervened that seemed more important to show. Last year I happened to end up at this place again and took more pictures. Now here we are another year later and I’m finally going to release the original post, but with an added green picture from my 2020 visit that shows a dewdrop-decked wild onion bud:



And here are some can-do words from Zora Neale Hurston: “It seems to me that if I say a whole system must be upset for me to win, I am saying that I cannot sit in the game, and that safer rules must be made to give me a chance. I repudiate that. If others are in there, deal me a hand and let me see what I can make of it, even though I know some in there are dealing from the bottom and cheating like hell in other ways.”

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman


Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 25, 2021 at 4:31 AM

23 Responses

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  1. Your first photos certainly look like the sedges that thrive at a couple of places at Brazoria. Their long, swirling patterns are so attractive; sometimes they bring to mind the proverbial ‘bird’s nest on the ground.’ I always enjoy seeing the flowers swelling beneath the papery covering of the wild onions, too. The dewdrops add a nice touch.


    June 25, 2021 at 5:58 AM

    • You’ve given evidence for sedges. Whatever they were, I couldn’t resist taking lots of pictures of the swirls, pattern fiend that I am. The concept of a bird’s nest on the ground is new to me. In this case it would have been a large, large bird. And as you say, what’s not to enjoy in the swelling of wild onion buds?

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 25, 2021 at 8:46 AM

  2. Those first images are interesting. I can’t say I have seen grass like that. About how long is a blade of it? I’m not surprised to find ragweed sprouting up – I believe that plant can make roots just about anywhere!

    My favorite photo is of the wild onion. The dewdrops gave it a nice touch. I was glad to find a large patch of wild onion in the orchard this year. I did not have time to dig any up, but was happy instead to take in the lovely fragrance as I drove through the area. I won’t have to worry about the hay fella coming in and cutting through that region since last year’s ice storm brought down so many pecan tree limbs and branches that there is no way to mow.


    June 25, 2021 at 6:20 AM

    • Linda says she’s seen sedges like that at Brazoria. The beargrass that I mentioned as a possibility isn’t a grass at all, but gets called that because it has long linear leaves. The first two pictures represent a span of 2–3 feet, I’d say. Individual leaves can be a lot longer because they curve around so much within that span.

      Dewdrops and raindrops do add a nice touch to almost any subject. Some photographers even carry a sprayer around with them to add droplets whenever they want, but I’ve never done that. It’s good to hear you found plenty of wild onions this year. From what you say, ice storms can have a silver lining: casting down impediments to mowing.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 25, 2021 at 8:54 AM

  3. Perfect material to use as an outdoor mattress!

    Peter Klopp

    June 25, 2021 at 8:13 AM

  4. The wild onion bud is a stunner, Steve.

    Jane Lurie

    June 25, 2021 at 10:17 AM

  5. The onion is lovely. Does anyone describe onions as lovely? Those grasses are so intriguing.

    Steve Gingold

    June 25, 2021 at 6:34 PM

    • “Does anyone describe onions as lovely?” You just did, and of course I’m happy to hear it. The swirly plants in the first two pictures, whatever they are, sure intrigued me. I’ll have to go back by there this year and see what’s become of them.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 25, 2021 at 7:20 PM

  6. I am immediately reminded of this song, Green Green by the new Christie Minstrels in the 1960s. The lead singer was Barry McGuire, later known for Eve of Destruction. He also did the original version of California Dreaming with the Mamas and the Papas doing background. Later his vocal track was replaced with the Mamas and the Papas also singing lead.

    Michael Scandling

    June 26, 2021 at 9:28 AM

    • I remember Barry McGuire and “Eve of Destruction” but I don’t think I knew he originally sang the lead on “California Dreaming.” I also remember “Green, Green,” which Wikipedia says became popular in Japan.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 26, 2021 at 9:46 AM

  7. Finding this post is perfect timing for me as I’ve been pondering a post about green on green based around a couple photos from a recent hike. I love these sorts of simple color palettes. And interesting timing on the quote, as well. I recently read Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. It was a powerful read, very sad in many ways, but so well told and full of thoughtful observations about the world and the people in it.

    Todd Henson

    June 30, 2021 at 6:51 AM

    • I’ve been aware of Zora Neale Hurston for some time but haven’t read any of her novels, so you’re ahead of me. Your assessment of the novel you read fits what I’ve heard.

      Good luck with your green-on-green post. I look forward to seeing what you do in it.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 30, 2021 at 8:14 AM

  8. Love the nature abstracts … both of them! Would be cool to see them printed large.


    June 30, 2021 at 11:51 AM

  9. I love these three images, Steve. 🙂


    July 7, 2021 at 2:54 PM

    • I couldn’t not love all those swirls in the first two green pictures. The third, taken a year later, found my attention focused on quite a different green.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 7, 2021 at 3:41 PM

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