Golden Waves of Goldenwave


All along Texas’s Bluewater Highway, the coastal route from the west end of Galveston Island to the beach towns of Surfside and Quintana, summer is coming. Fields filled with goldenwave, or plains coreopsis (Coreopsis tinctoria), gleam in the sunlight: a worthy replacement for the masses of Indian paintbrush that have faded away.


Comments always are welcome.

35 thoughts on “Golden Waves of Goldenwave

  1. This is a wonderful bright sight for us, already feeling finished with cold blustery weather. Now I feel warmer thank you.

    1. On cloudy days, these provide a nice reminder of sunshine, but when the sun itself lights them up, they positively glow. There’s nothing quite like following the Bluewater highway with the dunes and breakers on one side, and flower-filled fields on the other.

  2. It is a very beautiful plant and I can only imagine what it must be like to see thousands of them swaying in the wind.

    1. They’re sturdy little flowers, and enthusiastic about spreading. They’re as willing to fill a cemetery or a vacant city lot as any open field, and they brighten every corner where they appear. But you’re right about the impression they create where large masses of them are found; it can be stunning.

    1. It didn’t occur to me until this morning how neatly the goldenwave flowers complement the Gulf of Mexico waves just across the highway. On the bay side, it’s a prairie-like environment in places. On the Gulf side, there are dunes, shorebirds, and spume. It can seem like quite a contrast at first, but there are pleasing similarities.

    1. One of the nice things about Galveston Island is that much of the land where these thrive is private, in the hands of people dedicated to preserving what remains of the natural environment. There’s the state park, of course, but groups like Artist Boat are playing important roles.

      The Broadway cemeteries may be helping in their own way. People who come to see the profusion of flowers in some of the seven cemeteries can’t help but note the difference between those and the ones that are mowed and trimmed within an inch of their lives. And the realitites of dunes and wetlands on the west end means mowing’s often impractical, not to mention undesirable.

    1. Isn’t it? There are a couple of coreopsis species that carry the name ‘goldenwave,’ but it suits them all. This year, I found them in places I’ve never seen them before. It’s hard to say why — it could be a matter of timing, or perfect conditions in new spots. Whatever the reason, it’s always wonderful to come across them.

  3. Yellow is such a cheery color, and these are real beauties. Sad that the Paintbrush had to fade away, but to everything its season, right?!

    1. I enjoy the comings and goings of the flowers. The earliest spring flowers often last only a few weeks. Then, we get the “famous” bluebonnets and paintbrush, but I’m always glad to see summer’s yellows: prickly pear, coreopsis, coneflower, sunflower. It’s like a huge variety show — everyone gets their turn, and we get to be the appreciative audience!

  4. All that golden yellow must be a magnificent sight. So uplifting and yellow colours are stimulating and good for the brain.

    Almost continuous rain here where I live. I can’t complain. We badly need it after such a hot Summer.

    1. The fields are beautiful, if unpredictable. Last year, I found huge spreads of groundsel, but this year those fields had only a few sprigs of color. But there’s always something, and you’re right that the yellow’s especially cheering.

      Despite heavy rains earlier this year, we’d become a little too dry, and tonight we had a lovely rain — enough for me to collect a good bit of rainwater for the plants. There was a gorgeous double rainbow, too. I didn’t even try for photos of those — it still was raining, and there was no convenient place to both stay out of the rain and get a decent shot. So, I just admired them. Sometimes that’s quite enough.

      1. Perhaps you could practice holding an umbrella between your chin and shoulder and take a photo. Surprisingly doable once you get the hang of it

  5. We had our first frost after some terrible storms here in Sydney’s environs. I now look up the yellow golden flowers in this post and feel warm and cosy. Thank you.

    1. It’s hard to imagine frost, but I must say it sounds rather nice. We had terrific heat and humidity today, but some rain arrived, and I suspect things will be nicer now — still warm, but dried out a bit. When you have such storms, are they primarily thunderstorms? I don’t recall you mentioning tornadoes, although of course you have cyclones. In any event, here’s to the “mellow yellows” that can warm us up when things get frosty.

  6. Being a nectar drinking insect in the spring and summer, having course after course of such a fabulous banquet spread out before you. How nice the oxblood brown and golden yellow look together, but it’s like brown and blue — not a color combination you’d ever wear in public. . .

    1. I enjoy brown and blue in nature, in every combination, but I’m with you in not wearing those colors. The oxblood and yellow-gold? I could do that. In fact, I would do that — if I could find the right shades, in 100% cotton. Short of that, I’ll admire the flowers, and those insects that come along to feast on them. The variety of little critters running around a patch like this always is astonishing.

  7. I love this! Thanks for the rush of sunshine.
    And I like both the names a lot, too, the informal one is great, but the scientific name really trips off the tongue, too.

    1. Speaking of scientific names and such, I finally discovered that the Missouri Botanical Garden site provides a spoken pronunciation for each entry. If you look at the top of their pages, you’ll see the little speaker. Here’s the page for Coreopsis tinctoria This name’s easy to figure out, but for some of the stranger ones, being able to listen to someone pronounce the name is helpful.

    1. One of my goals for the coming year’s to try and figure out how to take those big, broad, impressive shots of flower-filled fields. I just haven’t figured it out yet — part of it’s equipment, but part of it’s a lack of knowledge and a lack of practice. I can work on two of those! The flowers are so beautiful when they spread like that. I’d like to do a better job of capturing them.

    1. And aren’t we glad to see the sun shining again, even if it does bring some good old Texas heat with it? These masses of coreopsis almost outshine the sunflowers, and turn the air itself golden.

    1. Sometimes the simplest flower can make the biggest impression. There’s not a lot “fancy” about coreopsis, but they certainly do make their presence known!

    1. Isn’t it a wonderful color combination. And these flowers do shine — they’re one reason you still hear the phrase “let’s take a drive and look at the flowers” around here.

    1. Last fall, I tried to photograph some goldenrod against a background of goldenrod, and that didn’t turn out so well. But this pleased me — somehow, the glow of the whole field managed to slip into the image.

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