Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Carolina comes to Texas

with 21 comments

A common vine in central Texas is Cocculus carolinus, known as Carolina snailseed, Carolina moonseed, and Carolina coralbead. Here from July 12th along Bull Creek you get a close look at the vine’s flowers and a somewhat farther-back view of unripe fruit. One website calls the tiny blossoms “insignificant,” but they’re obviously not that to the humble snailseed, which manages to keep propagating itself just fine, thank you. The little fruits turn red as they mature.


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According to one online estimate, Austin in 2022 has 1,028,225 people living inside its city limits, making it the 11th most populous city in the United States. Austin has more people than each of the five least populous states had in the 2020 census:

  1. Wyoming (581,075)
  2. Vermont (623,251)
  3. Alaska (724,357)
  4. North Dakota (770,026)
  5. South Dakota (896,581)

Austin approximately ties with the sixth state in the list, Delaware, whose 2022 estimated population is 1.03 million. Whether Austin will pull ahead isn’t clear. Because Austin is continuing to grow, it may well soon surpass Rhode Island, which went from 1,061,509 in the 2020 census to a just slightly higher estimated 1.09 million in 2022.


© 2022 Steven Schwartzman







Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 4, 2022 at 4:27 AM

Posted in nature photography

Tagged with , , , ,

21 Responses

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  1. I’ve seen ripened snailseed fruit, but never the flowers. I’ll have to make a jaunt over to the places where I’ve found the fruits in the past and see if they might be blooming. The flowers certainly are pretty. I laughed at your comment about the description of them as ‘insignificant.’ Perspectives do differ.


    August 4, 2022 at 7:28 AM

    • Perspectives certainly do differ. The person who said “insignificant” was thinking in human terms. We like large flowers, colorful flowers, and scented flowers, but don’t much care about other kinds. Plants don’t “think” in those terms. Whatever gets the job done—plants put out flowers to reproduce—is okay.

      Though in different botanical families, greenbrier and snailseed have somewhat similar leaves and both vines produce small flowers that humans tend to pay no attention to.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 4, 2022 at 8:39 AM

  2. Snailseed seems an odd combination for a name. Considering how tiny some pollinators can be the flowers are hardly insignificant to them.

    Steve Gingold

    August 4, 2022 at 4:30 PM

    • Yes, we’ve both seen plenty of tiny pollinators.
      The name snailseed comes from the fact the seed inside each little fruit looks like a little snail.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 4, 2022 at 6:52 PM

  3. GADS! Austin is right behind San Jose, which is the tenth most populous city in America.


    August 4, 2022 at 8:53 PM

    • Yes, I noticed that when I looked up the population figures. Austin has grown a lot and keeps on doing so. It has roughly three times as many people as when I moved here in 1976.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 4, 2022 at 10:30 PM

      • San Jose is also about three times as populous as it was in 1976. Many who have left San Jose have gone to Austin.


        August 4, 2022 at 11:00 PM

        • Alaska Airlines even runs a nonstop flight between the two cities.

          Steve Schwartzman

          August 5, 2022 at 7:30 AM

          • ? Aren’t there many nonstop flights between many cities? I have travelled by airplane only twice (or four times if round trips count as two trips), but both were nonstop flights, between San Jose and Los Angeles, and San Jose and Portland.


            August 6, 2022 at 2:14 AM

            • To fly to most places from Austin has usually meant flying somewhere else first, whether on a continuing flight or to change planes, most commonly at DFW (Dallas Fort Worth). In recent years it’s been possible to fly to more places non-stop from Austin, which is always a welcome advantage.

              Steve Schwartzman

              August 6, 2022 at 6:32 AM

              • It seems like San Jose Airport had a single terminal only a few years ago. The second was built in the 1990s. Nowadays, if any airports have nonstop flights to remote places, it should be those in big cities like San Jose and Austin.


                August 6, 2022 at 7:36 PM

                • Today we discovered Austin has a non-stop flight to Amsterdam.

                  Steve Schwartzman

                  August 6, 2022 at 9:38 PM

                • Well, San Jose is more important than Amsterdam, so I suppose that a nonstop flight there is impressive.


                  August 6, 2022 at 10:00 PM

  4. Interesting plant. I bet the birds like the fruit. The blossom, very small, but sure not insignificant.

    Alessandra Chaves

    August 6, 2022 at 7:48 AM

  5. It’s interesting how the populations of places change, Denver and Atlanta have certainly seen huge population growth. Then there is retirement migration too … even Ridgway is seeing population growth. I wonder what places are experiencing a significant decrease in population. I guess places like the Rust Belt or coal mining areas.


    August 8, 2022 at 11:45 AM

    • Good question. If you go to


      you’ll find a chart of the 200 most populous American cities. The fifth column in the chart gives the change since 2010. You can click the “Change” heading to sort by that column (another click or two reverses the sorting order). The biggest loser by far was Louisville, KY, down 42%. The biggest gainer was Enterprise, NV, up 125%, followed by Frisco, TX, up 86%, and McKinney, TX, up 59%.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 8, 2022 at 12:35 PM

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