Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Bluebell time again

with 30 comments

On June 18th, after photographing some mountain pinks I’d been tipped off to, I stopped at nearby Cypress Creek Park and found to my pleasure that a bunch of bluebells (Eustoma sp.) were coming up. Bluebells put out distinctively shaped buds, as you see in this portrait of one with an opening flower behind it.


For those of you who find yourselves in jobs where you feel like you’re walking on eggshells all the time and can’t speak openly about what you believe, here’s a relevant thought from someone who lived through Soviet oppression: “In a room where people unanimously maintain a conspiracy of silence, one word of truth sounds like a pistol shot.” ― Czesław Miłosz. (If I understand right, Polish cz is pronounced like English ch, ł like w, w like v, and sz like sh. As a result, Czesław Miłosz comes out sounding like Cheswav Miwosh.)

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 1, 2021 at 4:35 AM

30 Responses

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  1. That is a distinctive bud. Reminds a bit of Goatsbeard buds.

    Steve Gingold

    July 1, 2021 at 4:42 AM

  2. I am puzzled over a small detail in your latest portrait of a wildflower. The green leaf of the bud on the left has some purple showing through from the flower behind. Perhaps you explain the mystery.

    Peter Klopp

    July 1, 2021 at 8:04 AM

  3. That’s a happy correspondence between the curve of the bracts and the curve of the petals in the background flower. The bracts can make even a photo without blooming flowers quite attractive.


    July 1, 2021 at 8:13 AM

    • Happy indeed, and that’s what I am when I can get an echo of the foreground in the background. Maybe I should go back and see what state the flowers are in now.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 1, 2021 at 8:29 AM

      • I wonder if the purple Peter referred to is that bit showing through the space between the two bracts on the left. The way they seem to be touching leads to a bit of an optical illusion, as though they’re a single entity, like a leaf with a hole, rather than two separate bracts.


        July 1, 2021 at 9:58 AM

  4. GORGEOUS!!!!!!!

    marina kanavaki

    July 1, 2021 at 8:24 AM

  5. Wonderful portrait of the different bluebell stages, Steve.

    Jet Eliot

    July 1, 2021 at 8:43 AM

    • I like to have different stages of a plant together in a portrait. I’ve been doing that for a long time. Often (though not here) that means including a fresh flower along with one that has gone to seed.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 1, 2021 at 8:52 AM

  6. Beautiful photo!


    July 1, 2021 at 8:20 PM

  7. Beautiful composition.

    Michael Scandling

    July 1, 2021 at 10:30 PM

  8. I agree, a beautiful composition, Steve!

    Lavinia Ross

    July 2, 2021 at 9:31 AM

  9. Eustoma flowers are really lovely. I didn’t know that they were called bluebells – bluebells here are something very different – but also lovely. 🙂

    Ann Mackay

    July 3, 2021 at 5:26 PM

    • Right. I’ve become aware that bluebells in Britain are something different. The common name bluebells in the United States applies to other kinds of wildflowers as well. Eustoma here also goes by the name prairie gentian.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 3, 2021 at 8:44 PM

      • Yes, they are very different and at their best in bluebell woods – a beautiful sight.

        Ann Mackay

        July 4, 2021 at 5:09 AM

  10. Super shot Steve .. which technique number is this 🙂


    July 7, 2021 at 2:22 PM

  11. Well said – and photographed!


    July 7, 2021 at 2:49 PM

  12. […] some bluebells (Eustoma sp.) that were coming up in Cypress Creek Park. Sixteen days ago you saw a distinctively shaped bud of this species, and now from the same session here are two portraits showing an opening flower. As I’ve said […]

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