Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Yellow flowers in December before the freeze

with 14 comments


On December 22, knowing that a freeze was imminent, I went over to Gault Lane to see what flowers I could still find. A paloverde tree stll had a few blossoms remaining on it, one of which you see above. All those red splotches give it character, don’t you think? I also found a bit of zesty zexmenia, Wedelia acapulcensis var. hispida).



The view from below reveals other features.



UPDATE. Three posts back I mentioned that in the second photograph of icicles I imagined seeing something which wasn’t actually there (that phenomenon is called pareidolia). Wanting to give people a chance to look for themselves, I didn’t identify it then but will now. Below and to the right of the sunburst I seem to see a face with one Cyclopean eye, a bright nose, and an open mouth.



If you go back to the full image maybe now you’ll see the face
in there too, or maybe not. Pareidolia is quite subjective.


© 2023 Steven Schwartzman





Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 2, 2023 at 4:26 AM

14 Responses

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  1. Those yellow blooms are gorgeous! I am glad you caught them! Faces seen in patterns reminds me of an old sci fi TV segment. I am not sure if it was an Outer Limits or Twilight Zone one. The woman saw face in patterns on her walls, and eventually ended up checking into an asylum, requesting a room with no patterns. As you might guess, staff did not pay attention to that and ignored her screams the first night there. One of the “faces” actually got her in the end, exchanging places and using her body to exist in this dimension. Her own face then became one of the Others attempting to push through.

    Lavinia Ross

    January 2, 2023 at 1:17 PM

  2. Kind of a spooky cyclops hidden in that picture, but fun to spot.

    Robert Parker

    January 2, 2023 at 6:26 PM

    • That oval face appeared to me the very first time I looked at the picture on my computer. I didn’t see it when I took the photograph.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 2, 2023 at 6:56 PM

  3. These are lovely. Right up until the freeze I still was seeing a few Helianthus annuus and a bloom or two on the construction zone rattlebush, but that was it. I do like the bits of red on the Paloverde; as we’ve said from time to time, occasionally red and yellow delight a fellow.


    January 2, 2023 at 8:02 PM

    • We had a little carpet of straggler daisies with flowers in one part of our yard before the freeze. When I checked yesterday I couldn’t find a single flower head or even a leaf of one. The red on this paloverde flower made it maculate rather than immaculate yet still very pleasing to this fellow.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 2, 2023 at 10:26 PM

  4. I like the red splotches too – they do add a lot of interest to the flower, especially with the wonderfully rich yellow as a background.

    Ann Mackay

    January 4, 2023 at 4:28 AM

    • I’ve wondered whether the red signals something. The most I’ve found out so far is that “The flowers are about ¾ of an inch wide (2 cm) and a vivid yellow except for the uppermost petal, called the banner, which is speckled with red or orange and becomes more deeply colored as the flower ages.”

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 4, 2023 at 6:14 AM

      • A signal for pollinating insects maybe? Especially if the colour change helps to direct the bee to a flower that’s at the right stage to be pollinated, rather than one that’s too old.

        Ann Mackay

        January 4, 2023 at 11:09 AM

  5. Wonderful yellow to highlight a bit of brightness before the cold takes over.

    Love Palo Verde. Had two in our yard in west Texas in another lifetime.

    Wally Jones

    January 4, 2023 at 9:36 AM

    • Central Texas has many kinds of yellow flowers. Most are close to the ground but the ones on a paloverde often fly high, as you know from having had two in your yard.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 4, 2023 at 10:49 AM

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