Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Two takes on goldeneye

with 16 comments

From close to Bull Creek on October 14th come two takes on goldeneye bushes (Viguiera dentata), which were busy doing their expected autumnal flowering. The top view is pretty straightforward, while the bottom one goes for a limited-focus approach. Either way, yellow rules the day.

⫷     ⫸

The dialogue that appeared at the end of yesterday’s post was one I created in response to a much-repeated claim that a proposed bill in Congress, despite its $3.5 trillion price tag (which some analysts say is actually more like $5 trillion), would cost “zero, zero, zero.” I have news for the people pushing that bill: government programs don’t cost zero. They may cost some beneficiaries of the bill zero, but many other people are left paying the very high costs of those programs. After I wrote my little dialog to illustrate the abuse of the word cost and the craziness of the notion that the biggest grab-bag of government give-aways in the country’s history would cost zero, I came across an article by Ryan Bourne that made the same points and even mentioned the analogy of buying groceries.

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman.

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 25, 2021 at 4:47 AM

16 Responses

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  1. Both are excellent takes. I’ve never seen goldeneye-obviously for good reason since I’ve never visited the southwest.

    Steve Gingold

    October 25, 2021 at 5:37 AM

    • Thanks. I’m used to thinking of goldeneye as an Austin species, or at most a central Texas species, but your mention of the the southwest is a reminder that central Texas marks roughly the easternmost edge of goldeneye’s range. I was surprised to come across some of these flowers in west Texas a few years ago, and the map shows goldeneye as far west as Arizona. Maybe I’ll see some the next time I’m in Tucson, assuming I go there again one fall.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 25, 2021 at 7:36 AM

  2. The second portrait is delightful. Is this some kind of sunflower?


    October 25, 2021 at 7:28 AM

    • Ah, you favor the softer approach. The botanical sunflower family, Asteraceae, is so large that botanists have split it up into “tribes.” Goldeneye is in the Heliantheae tribe that also includes the species commonly called sunflowers, along with Mexican hat, black-eyed Susan, and coreopsis. It’s a big tribe in a huge family.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 25, 2021 at 7:50 AM

  3. Sunflowers and goldenrod have some real competition when it comes to yellow. These are lovely. The way the plant branches in the second photo reminded me of another yellow flower: Engelmann’s daisy. We don’t get to enjoy goldeneye, of course, but last weekend Bidens aristosa was abloom in east Texas.


    October 25, 2021 at 7:44 AM

    • Yellow competition indeed: while you were writing your comment, as part of my reply to the previous comment I found out that Viguiera dentata is in the same Heliantheaetribe of Asteraceae as the Engelmann daisy and the various sunflowers, though different-looking goldenrod is in another tribe. I’m glad to hear Bidens aristosa was abloom in east Texas. At least something with that name does good and brings pleasure.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 25, 2021 at 8:05 AM

  4. These flowers have truly brightened up what otherwise is a rainy overcast day here in South Florida, Steve☀️ I’m so glad you included both views!

    Birder's Journey

    October 25, 2021 at 9:09 AM

    • Happy double brightening, Carol. Goldeneye sure knows how to do yellow. I once saw it form almost a river of yellow:

      Goldeneye as I’d never seen it

      It’s overcast in Austin this morning, too. Despite that, or maybe because of it, the weather forecast is predicting an afternoon high of around 90°.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 25, 2021 at 9:16 AM

  5. With every individual flower equally well focused on the first photo, we are looking at another beautiful floral carpet.

    Peter Klopp

    October 25, 2021 at 9:53 AM

    • Your mention of a carpet reminded me of Carpe diem, which you could say I did photographically on the day I took these pictures.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 25, 2021 at 10:20 AM

  6. 🤔 … I always wonder about zero costs. Beautiful flower photographs.

    Alessandra Chaves

    October 25, 2021 at 10:44 AM

  7. What a sunny profusion, a great sight.

    Robert Parker

    October 25, 2021 at 10:48 AM

    • “Sunny Profusion” could be the name of some product. You’d better hurry up and trademark it.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 25, 2021 at 11:24 AM

      • I think I’d make it “Sunny Pro Fusion” an energy drink/sunscreen with curated solar-power, artisanal antioxidants, outside-the-box synergy and greater bandwith. It doesn’t matter that this is gibberish, it’s just important to use the buzzwords.

        Robert Parker

        October 25, 2021 at 1:24 PM

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