Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Wildflowers at White Sands National Park

with 8 comments


My photographic attention in New Mexico went mostly to scenic geological features that I can’t find in central Texas. At White Sands National Park on October 11th that meant primarily the dunes, but I did photograph a few wildflowers there as well. Right outside the visitor center was a densely flowering bush that might have been a species of Chrysothamnus. I saw several aster plants flowering, including a fasciated one:



And there were some evening-primroses, Oenothera sp.



© 2022 Steven Schwartzman



Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 25, 2022 at 4:27 AM

8 Responses

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  1. When I saw the top photo, my first thought was ‘rabbitbrush.’ I first found it in the Cimarron and Rita Blanca grasslands in Kansas/Oklahoma/Texas. At present,Tanja has it in her blog’s header photo. I’d bet on your primrose being this one. I came across it at the Cimarron Grasslands; the same ranger who identified the curly cup gumweed for me pointed it out. It shares the same territory as rabbitbrush in several states.


    October 25, 2022 at 8:43 AM

    • I also thought about rabbitbrush, of which I saw a slew in New Mexico. What gave me pause was that the flowers in the top picture were denser and more expansive than the rabbitbrush I saw. Maybe it was a particularly lush rabbitbrush. I called the White Sands visitor center, hoping to ask about this bush right in front of the building, but I couldn’t find any way to connect to a live person or even leave a message. Thanks for your suggestion of the Oenothera species.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 25, 2022 at 9:20 AM

      • That made me laugh. I called Bastrop state park recently to check on the Maximilians. I got a live person, but after a few minutes of consultation among the staff, they agreed they didn’t know much about flowers and couldn’t say whether they were blooming or not. Perhaps they were volunteers.


        October 25, 2022 at 9:59 AM

        • I’ve found that most people who work in the visitor centers at national, state, and local parks know little about nature. At Memorial Park in Houston last month I flagged down two employees passing by in a utility vehicle to ask them about the plants I was standing next to; they didn’t know anything about them.

          Steve Schwartzman

          October 25, 2022 at 10:18 AM

  2. The aster flowers look great against the blue sky. It may surprise you that we experienced a summer-like fall in our northern location for the past six weeks, with many flowers blooming and tomatoes ripening in our garden. We are finally getting some much-needed rain.

    Peter Klopp

    October 25, 2022 at 9:27 AM

    • I’m happy to hear it, Peter. I know how much you must value a spell of unexpected warmth in your cold climate. And of course people always welcome rain after a drought.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 25, 2022 at 9:29 AM

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