Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Two purples and more in Liberty Hill

with 19 comments


October 22, the day after our return from New Mexico and west Texas, found me in Liberty Hill, a fast-growing town three suburbs north of Austin. There I got low to the ground to photograph some lingering gayfeather flower spikes (Liatris punctata var. mucronata) against wispy clouds, as shown above. At times the breeze was brisk and it blew the fluffy branches of poverty weed (Baccharis neglecta) into graceful arcs that harmonized with the wispy clouds, as you see below. The rich purple was eryngo (Eryngium leavenworthii) and the yellow at the left came from a Maximilian sunflower (Helianthus maximiliani).



(Pictures from the New Mexico trip will resume next time.)


© 2022 Steven Schwartzman





Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 15, 2022 at 4:25 AM

19 Responses

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  1. love the pops of purple


    November 15, 2022 at 5:05 AM

    • The more-extensive purple in the top photo was beginning to fade, but the smaller purple of the eryngo in the bottom view had lost none of its richness.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 15, 2022 at 6:20 AM

  2. Eryngium leavenworthii is a handsome plant!

    Eliza Waters

    November 15, 2022 at 6:35 AM

  3. The plants, clouds and breeze all conspired to make a nice composition.

    Robert Parker

    November 15, 2022 at 8:09 AM

  4. I like your wildflower shots very much. And the clouds … more food for the imaginative mind.

    Peter Klopp

    November 15, 2022 at 7:27 PM

    • Wildflowers have been my stock in trade here for 11 years. Travel has sometimes interrupted the floral parade, as the many recent pictures of mountains and boulders and cliffs attest. As you say, more kinds of food for the camera and the imagination.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 15, 2022 at 9:48 PM

  5. Purple is always a special find and the clouds blew in just in time to create a little drama. Nicely done, Steve!


    November 16, 2022 at 4:10 AM

    • In Europe purple used to be the royal color because it was hard to make it from natural materials. It still looks pretty royal to me, and so do wispy clouds.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 16, 2022 at 6:21 AM

  6. The sky was doing its thing too.

    Alessandra Chaves

    November 16, 2022 at 7:13 AM

    • It sure was. I took advantage of that in a bunch of my pictures that morning, playing one species after another off against the wispy clouds.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 16, 2022 at 2:18 PM

  7. I’ve yet to see your version of eryngo, and I completely missed the Maximilians this year. It’s hard to believe you’re still seeing them; it’s one of those autumn purple-and-gold combinations I’d never imagined.

    Now that I think about it, I’ve not seen any fluffy poverty weed this year, either. Usually by this time I’m fighting fluff in my varnish, but I’ve yet to see any. I thought I’d find some at the Brazoria refuge last weekend, but no joy. The rain keeps missing the coast, and it shows.


    November 16, 2022 at 7:52 AM

    • As of this morning I’m still seeing some Maximilians flowering here and there, and also a few annual sunflowers. I’m sorry to hear you didn’t come across any Maximilians this year. I barely saw any eryngo this season. As for poverty weed, on November 5th I spent time with some in Cedar Park that had reached the peak of cottonyness, even more than the ones in this post.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 16, 2022 at 2:17 PM

  8. How fun to find some purple and yellows in the desert! Mostly it’s green and the color of sand.


    November 18, 2022 at 10:24 AM

    • All my recent travel pictures from New Mexico may have misled you into interpreting this as desert. It’s the Texas hill country, the far western edge of which does ease toward the Chihuahuan Desert, but whose eastern fringe includes my Austin neighborhood. In any case, purple and yellow are a cheerful combination.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 18, 2022 at 11:38 AM

  9. That last shot Steve is a classic! Wonderful …


    November 25, 2022 at 2:15 AM

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