Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography


with 16 comments


Look how lush the maidenhair ferns (Adiantum capillus-veneris), inland sea oats (Chasmanthum latifolium), and other plants were along the trail between Springfield Park and McKinney Falls State Park in southeast Austin on May 21st. Thanks to recent rain, drops were still falling from the roof of the dark little “grotto” at the center. Below you see what an adjacent stretch of Onion Creek was looking like. The large tree with the interesting roots at the right is a bald cypress (Taxodium distichum).



© 2023 Steven Schwartzman





Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 24, 2023 at 4:29 AM

Posted in nature photography

Tagged with , , , , , ,

16 Responses

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  1. We aren’t quite Texas-verdant, but it’s nice to be seeing green.


    May 24, 2023 at 6:05 PM

    • Because months of summer and concomitant browning lie ahead of us here, you won’t be surprised that I’ve been taking advantage of the rain-induced verdure while it’s still with us.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 24, 2023 at 7:11 PM

  2. Lovely cool looking spot Steve. I am a big fan of ferns and I thought at first this was one of your New Zealand photos.


    May 25, 2023 at 4:48 AM

    • Now that’s a happy thought, given how lush the native forests of New Zealand are. Of course Texas doesn’t have tree ferns, but on a small scale we have more spots like what you see here than many people probably realize.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 25, 2023 at 4:56 AM

  3. That first photo is immensely attractive, not only for the number of ferns, but also for the draping their size allowed. When I do come across maidenhair ferns, they tend to be in much smaller clumps. They may be more prolific this year in some of the spots I know, since we’ve had so much rain even the rain lilies still are blooming.

    The second photo brought to mind Garner State Park, where rocks and trees often combine to present pleasing vistas. Here, the rocks look like already-congealing fudge being poured into a pan.


    May 25, 2023 at 7:54 AM

    • The majority of the maidenhair ferns I see in the Austin area are also low but strung out in lines, typically on a creekside embankment of cliff. Still, a lush cluster like this isn’t all that unusual. And you may remember the giant column of ferns I photographed a year ago today along the Capital of Texas Highway.

      As for the second image, your mention of fudge makes me wonder if someone was hungry a little before 8:00 this morning.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 25, 2023 at 2:25 PM

  4. Verdant is right! The lovely rain we’re getting certainly helps that goal, doesn’t it! Nice shots, I just love that fern.


    May 25, 2023 at 7:42 PM

    • Yes, it sure was the rain. I was out at Bull Creek District Park this morning photographing equally verdant maidenhair ferns.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 25, 2023 at 7:54 PM

  5. The maidenhair ferns are beautiful. I’ve only ever seen them as houseplants, so the sight of them growing in the wild is stunning…and so green! 🙂

    Ann Mackay

    May 27, 2023 at 5:28 AM

    • As is so often the case, my experience is the reverse: I’ve only experienced maidenhair ferns in the wild and never would even have imagined them—let alone seen any—as house plants. We certainly both appreciate all the lush green of the ferns in the top picture regardless of whether we’ve seen it in person or in the image (and in my case, both).

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 27, 2023 at 5:41 AM

  6. Beautiful and sharp green details!


    May 31, 2023 at 11:51 AM

  7. That’s a beautiful scene, and verdant seems a perfect description. I like the character of the roots of that tree, too. Nicely composed.

    Todd Henson

    June 4, 2023 at 11:24 AM

    • Thanks. People who don’t know Texas are often surprised when they see a place this verdant in Austin. I get the impression many of those people imagine all of Texas is like the desert of west Texas.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 4, 2023 at 3:14 PM

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