Texas dandelion in sun and shadow

With my weekdays now so full and hectic, I look forward with utter abandon to the weekends when I can enjoy a leisurely walk at the lake.  If an opportunity arises during the week, I grab it with vehemence, yet too often I simply don’t have time until Saturday or Sunday to enjoy a bit of nature and a healthy dose of unwinding.

So it was yesterday morning when I headed toward the water theater to enjoy an area less common to my ordinary travels.  Being there early meant I was able to enjoy a bit of what I miss most about taking such walks daily: the absence of people.

I traveled throughout the area surrounding the Bathhouse Cultural Center and water theater.  During my aimless wandering, I photographed a great many of the wildflowers that flourish there.  I’ll post more photos at a later date, but today I wanted to share a brilliant yellow resident called the Texas dandelion (Pyrrhopappus carolinianus).

I think its more common cousin (seen at the end of this post) is anything but mundane.  On the contrary, I find dandelions magnificent examples of exquisite simplicity.  Nevertheless, that flower’s Texas relation offers a very different yet equally attractive visage.

Seen below are two different flowers taken at different times during my walk.  The first is colored brightly with sunshine, a lighted paint generously covering all but a tiny section of its beautiful offering.  The second came earlier in the day when the sun had not yet lifted its head above the trees, when the world rested gently under blankets of shadow.  The lack of illumination did not keep this dazzling flora from giving its best performance.

A Texas dandelion (Pyrrhopappus carolinianus) colored brilliantly with sunshine (193_9324)
A Texas dandelion (Pyrrhopappus carolinianus) softly glowing in shadow (193_9322)

[I must admit the larger versions are magnificent, especially the original sizes which I’ve made available on one of those rare occasions when I felt as though I’d be taking something away from you if I didn’t show you what I myself had seen]

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