Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Switchgrass time again

with 22 comments

The “big four” grasses of the tallgrass prairies are little bluestem, big bluestem, (yellow) Indiangrass, and the subject of today’s post, switchgrass, Panicum virgatum. I always look forward to seeing large clumps of switchgrass in its late-fall and winter form, as I did on January 11th in the northeast quadrant of Mopac and US 183. From a distance the tops of these clumps seem to me a tan haze, as shown above. The lower portions of the grass, curlicued as their leaves so often are, lend themselves to abstract portraits like the one below.


☀︎         ☀︎         ☀︎


Did you hear about the preserved baby dinosaur discovered curled up inside its egg?
It’s quite an exciting find.

© 2022 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 20, 2022 at 4:34 AM

Posted in nature photography

Tagged with , , ,

22 Responses

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  1. I like the elegantly curved forms of the switchgrass, Steve.

    Peter Klopp

    January 20, 2022 at 9:00 AM

    • Me too. We’re fortunate to have it as a native grass down here. Online sources say it grows as close to you as Saskatchewan.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 20, 2022 at 10:09 AM

  2. I really enjoy the curled leaves of this grass; they remind me of the curling ribbon used in gift wrapping. I suppose we could say that in this case the grass itself is the gift: self-wrapped. I like the sound of this grass, too. In a good wind, it seems to rustle and whisper more than the other grasses, but that could be my imagination.


    January 20, 2022 at 9:06 AM

    • Now I’ll have to rustle up my attention and see if I hear switchgrass rustling in the wind. Curls are photogenic and I obliged by generating some pictures.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 20, 2022 at 10:11 AM

  3. The photos are beautiful, Steve. Grass, especially dried grass, makes some interesting compositions!

    Lavinia Ross

    January 20, 2022 at 10:14 AM

    • It sure does. Dried plants in general appeal to me, and many people make decorative arrangements out of them.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 20, 2022 at 10:21 AM

  4. The dinosaur egg with curled up young one was fascinating. Thanks for the link!

    Lavinia Ross

    January 20, 2022 at 10:16 AM

  5. Nice close-up shot … I like the diagonal and all the curlicues!


    January 20, 2022 at 12:02 PM

  6. Beautiful photos


    January 21, 2022 at 12:56 AM

  7. I like the curls and swirls of the leaves alongside the straighter stems. The shapes make me think of calligraphy. 🙂

    Ann Mackay

    January 21, 2022 at 8:59 AM

    • And I like your rhyming “curls and swirls.” It reminds me of the first words in Joni Mitchell’s song “Both Sides Now”: “Rows and flows of angel hair….”

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 21, 2022 at 9:34 AM

    • Calligraphy is what came to my mind, too.


      January 28, 2022 at 6:34 AM

      • Calligraphy means ‘beautiful writing’ in Greek, yet in this case the writing would be in Arabic rather than Greek.

        Steve Schwartzman

        January 28, 2022 at 6:52 AM

  8. Beautiful photos, Steve! I’m adding more switchgrass to parts of my garden this year – I love it exactly for the winter features that you’ve captured!


    January 23, 2022 at 3:57 PM

  9. Nice curls. That’s what happens when you curl up for a good nap and wake up millennia later. Rip Van Dinosaur.

    Steve Gingold

    January 24, 2022 at 10:07 AM

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