Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

From Apache plume to plumy clouds

with 12 comments


On October 15th in a garden outside the Albuquerque Museum I spent time photographing native plants. Among those I photographed was Apache plume, Fallugia paradoxa, which I couldn’t resist playing a flower of off* in a minimalistically** appealing way against some wispy clouds that intrigued me, as you see above.



Over a span of about half an hour I also couldn’t resist portraying
some of the wispy clouds in their own right as they shifted shapes.



* Few native English speakers realize that off and of were originally the stressed and unstressed form, respectively, of the same word. Speakers of foreign languages who are learning English have to be taught which form to use when.

* * The sesquipedalian adverb minimalistically doesn’t practice what it preaches.


© 2022 Steven Schwartzman





Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 20, 2022 at 4:29 AM

12 Responses

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  1. These are sweet photos. Clouds never get old and the little flower in the corner is precious.

    Alessandra Chaves

    November 20, 2022 at 7:59 AM

    • That Apache plume flower in the corner could almost pass for a white bird winging its way into the picture. I’m with you in finding that clouds never get old as subjects for portraits.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 20, 2022 at 9:39 AM

  2. These are nice shots. In the first one, that Apache Plume might be looking thirstily at that faraway water vapor.

    Robert Parker

    November 20, 2022 at 8:18 AM

    • I just imagined the Apache plume flower as a white bird. Your imagination winged its way toward a plant craving water. Different visions, different decisions.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 20, 2022 at 9:43 AM

  3. These are some remarkable photos you posted so early in the morning. The clouds are as variable in shape and form as the crystals of a snowflake.

    Peter Klopp

    November 20, 2022 at 8:30 AM

    • I’ll take “remarkable,” thanks, at any time of day. I like your concept of clouds being a soft-form counterpart to crystals, both of them infinitely variable.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 20, 2022 at 9:46 AM

  4. It the first photo, it might be an Apache in the plume, bending down to admire the flower below it.


    November 20, 2022 at 8:39 AM

    • Clever. I also imagined a form in that cloud. Maybe because Halloween was just a few weeks ago, I saw a Casper-like ghost with upraised, curving arms.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 20, 2022 at 9:52 AM

  5. I like your unconventional composition. It looks like the flower is reaching for the clouds!


    November 20, 2022 at 1:24 PM

    • Sometimes having a subject way off-center is an effective way to go. As you pointed out, that position can imply motion toward the center.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 20, 2022 at 2:02 PM

  6. Love the sheer beauty of the delicate clouds in the second image. 🙂

    Ann Mackay

    November 21, 2022 at 9:19 AM

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