Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Cedar sage flourishing

with 15 comments

Cedar sage flowers (Salvia roemeriana) in wooded parts of my neighborhood were out
in force by April 15th, when I found plenty of them to photograph in Great Hills Park.

 © 2022 Steven Schwartzman








Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 25, 2022 at 4:30 AM

15 Responses

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  1. Red on black is always a striking combination. In small doses. We had a customer of the store where I work whose entire house, no exaggeration, was a black and red motif. Window treatments, wall art, furniture, carpets, china, and, of course, walls. The only thing missing was flames. It always took a few hours to recover after working in there.

    Steve Gingold

    April 25, 2022 at 7:03 AM

    • Wow, that must be a strange house indeed. Your “in small doses” is a good take on the red~black combination.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 25, 2022 at 7:12 AM

  2. The red and green look terrific on the black background. Nicely done!


    April 25, 2022 at 8:13 AM

    • Thanks. I’ve been using my ring flash a fair amount lately; that accounts for the black background in so many recent pictures.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 25, 2022 at 9:37 AM

      • …and I can’t remember the last time I used my Speedlite or on board flash!! The last time I did look at my speedlite I noticed the little rubber button pusher thingie fell off…the glue wore off as it is an old SB610 unit. 😀


        April 25, 2022 at 10:00 AM

        • Can you glue the little rubber button pusher thingie back on?

          On earlier models of Canon cameras that I used I was grateful for the built-in flash when I needed extra light in a hurry. After I switched to full-frame models I missed the convenience of that flash and had to start carrying an external flash with me, which makes my already heavy camera bag that much heavier. Lately I’ve been carrying the ring flash with me in the car in anticipation of taking wildflower closeups.

          Steve Schwartzman

          April 25, 2022 at 10:10 AM

          • I believe I can and purchased some special adhesive for my old D700 when a bit of the grip rubber started to come away from the metal bits after years of wear and tear. It worked really well for that. I’m hoping it works for the little rubber cover thingie too. Thankfully, it wasn’t lost and in the drawer lying next to the speedlite.

            I’ve window shopped ring lights for macro and still life photography before…it looks fun very useful, but I don’t think I’d use it often so haven’t succumbed that bit of gear wanting lust. 🤣 I get sucked into wanting new gear all the time. Thankfully, I have will power and a “use what you have up first” mentality or I’d be in debt forever! 😮


            April 25, 2022 at 10:18 AM

            • Like you, and unlike some photographers, I mostly keep my accessories to a minimum. I’ve had the ring light for probably at least a decade. Though I haven’t used it a lot, it has proven its worth in photographing certain things (for example, frostweed ice). As I mentioned, I’ve recently taken to using it more than in previous years.

              Name-brand ring flashes are expensive but I recently noticed off-brand ones selling for a lot less.

              Steve Schwartzman

              April 25, 2022 at 10:33 AM

  3. I like the symmetry in this photo, Steve.

    Peter Klopp

    April 25, 2022 at 8:41 AM

    • We math people pick up on that symmetry. I photographed a bunch of cedar sage plants and I don’t think I noticed at the time how symmetric this one was. As soon as I saw the picture of it on my computer monitor later, the line symmetry jumped right out at me.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 25, 2022 at 9:39 AM

  4. Had I not recently seen both red buckeye flowers and coral bean, I wouldn’t have noticed the similar form of all three flowers. The details differ in certain ways, but the symmetry is noticeable, and of course the color is striking. In an especially dim moment, I looked for the plant in the list of scientific names in Roemer’s journal of his travels through Texas; of course it wasn’t there, since Roemer’s name hadn’t been applied to it yet. He may well have seen it. I’ll have to look for a description of the plant in the text. On the other hand, I did learn that cedar sage was introduced into the horticultural trade in 1852 — just five years after Roemer’s travels through Texas.


    April 26, 2022 at 5:45 AM

    • Now that’s a find: cedar sage in the horticultural trade as long ago as 1852. Happy hunting: the flowers of Roemer’s sage by any other name are just as red.

      As I was walking into Great Hills Park to look for cedar sage that day, I encountered a guy coming out who had gathered a few, along with some other wildflowers. I thought of pointing out that that’s not a good thing to do, but eventually he admitted on his own that he shouldn’t have gathered them from the park. Fortunately I found plenty of cedar sage plants flowering in a part of the park that I don’t often go to.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 26, 2022 at 6:12 AM

  5. Fabulous! I’m a great fan of salvia.


    May 2, 2022 at 2:15 PM

    • We could say salvia salves your spirit. This species has flowers with as saturated a red as any I know.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 2, 2022 at 2:50 PM

  6. […] (Salvia roemeriana) in wooded areas of my neighborhood was out in force by the middle of April. I found plenty of those plants to photograph in Great Hills Park, and then on April 17th I spent time with a group of them on a rocky embankment along Morado […]

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