Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Texas dandelion in a phlox colony

with 24 comments


From March 5th along TX 95 a few miles north of Bastrop,
here’s a Texas dandelion (Pyrrhopappus pauciflorus)
in a colony of phlox (Phlox drummondii).


✦        ✦        ✦


I’ll bet you didn’t know that American government agencies have been seizing innocent people’s bank accounts or other assets and refusing to give them back. You can read about that.



As a follow-up to the spam from the other day, here’s a new one I got: “Whhat a stuff of սn-ambiguity and preserveness օf valuable knowledge ϲoncerning unpredicted emotions.”


© 2023 Steven Schwartzman





Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 14, 2023 at 4:22 AM

24 Responses

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  1. I often see a hint of green in the Texas dandelion’s yellow, and this portrait seems to accentuate that. Perhaps it’s the combination with the deep purple that caused it. In any event, it’s lovely. On my latest jaunt, I was reminded of the downside of covering a lot of territory in a limited time; there’s a temptation to move too fast, and lose the opportunity for images like this as a result.


    March 14, 2023 at 5:57 AM

    • We were out again yesterday for another wildflower tour, this one lasting seven hours. I used my 24–105mm lens the entire time. Not that I didn’t see opportunities for closeups; I did. Even so, I decided to “strike while the iron is hot” and spend all my time on floral spreads like the one in the previous post that come my way only at this time of year. Closeups are available the year around.

      I think you’re right that in today’s portrait the purple background influences our perception of the dandelion’s yellow.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 14, 2023 at 7:39 AM

  2. Like a nice “studio portrait,” the dandelion is set off so well against that great background.

    Robert Parker

    March 14, 2023 at 7:22 AM

  3. Outstanding photograph, especially with the phlox background!

    I think this is one of the loveliest yellow blooms in our landscape. Our version, P. carolinianus, typically is found as a single plant standing above its neighbors.

    Wally Jones

    March 14, 2023 at 7:29 AM

    • Thanks. We also have P. carolinianus here. I just checked a botanical key to see how to tell the two apart. Turns out there are a bunch of criteria that partially overlap. In height, for example, P. carolinianus is given as growing 30–100 cm tall, while P. pauciflorus grows 20–60 cm tall. That fits your description of “standing above its neighbors.”

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 14, 2023 at 7:54 AM

  4. I do love how it picked a complementary colored field to grow in. It’s beautiful.


    March 14, 2023 at 9:41 AM

    • The dandelion had good taste in growing among all those phlox flowers. Complementary colors, indeed.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 14, 2023 at 12:16 PM

  5. The dandelion looks great in the sea of muted phlox flowers.

    Peter Klopp

    March 14, 2023 at 11:22 AM

    • In this case the high contrast with which I processed the image muted the phlox in comparison to the dandelion. In other images the colorfully saturated phlox shone on its own.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 14, 2023 at 12:19 PM

  6. I’ve been railing against “asset forfeiture” for years. Local police departments are the worst, and apparently many rely


    March 14, 2023 at 11:45 AM

    • I don’t understand how that’s allowed to continue. It seems aggrieved parties could bring cases and win, thereby setting judicial precedents. Even more effective might be to bring a case, lose, and get the Supreme Court to hear an appeal.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 14, 2023 at 12:22 PM

  7. Beautiful capture and I love the background!! I usually have at least one of these in my gardens, but none so far this spring. Hopefully soon.


    March 14, 2023 at 11:46 AM

    • Have the Texas dandelions you’ve occasionally seen in your gardens volunteered themselves there? I ask because, for whatever reason, I usually have to go outside Austin to see any. For example, we saw plenty in Gonzales yesterday. And of course the one in this picture was north of Bastrop.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 14, 2023 at 12:24 PM

      • Yes, though I confess that they’re just things that come up. I seem to recall last year’s was in one of my pathways.


        March 14, 2023 at 2:30 PM

        • Now I’m wondering whether anyone purposely plants Texas dandelions. People may refrain out of guilt by association with the invasive Eurasian dandelion.

          Steve Schwartzman

          March 14, 2023 at 3:57 PM

  8. The background makes this a special shot. I was under the impression that the word salads in those spams are computer generated which doesn’t speak well for AI.

    Steve Gingold

    March 14, 2023 at 5:26 PM

    • Hooray for unusual backgrounds!

      I’ve puzzled for years over what spam is trying to accomplish with its nonsensical sentences. I guess spammers want people to click to get taken to a place that’s selling something or will steal something, but why would anyone click on illiterate things that are obvious spam? As you said, AI could do a much better job for spammers, though that would be worse for us.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 14, 2023 at 6:29 PM

  9. That is a lovely portrait of that golden crown of a Texas dandelion, Steve.

    Lavinia Ross

    March 16, 2023 at 4:46 PM

    • I’ve often enough done closeups of a Texas dandelion. This is the first one I recall with a purple background like that.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 16, 2023 at 5:12 PM

  10. A beautiful dandelion – the rich purple background makes the yellow glow.

    Ann Mackay

    March 16, 2023 at 5:05 PM

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