Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Olive hairstreak butterfly

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During the same September 12th outing along the upper reaches of Bull Creek that brought you the previous picture of prairie agalinis I noticed that some frostweed plants (Verbesina virginica) had begun flowering. My focus in this picture, however, was on the Callophrys gryneus butterfly that was busy on many of those frostweed flowers. The generally docile little butterflies in this species are known as olive hairstreaks or juniper hairstreaks due to the green on their wings.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 24, 2016 at 4:57 AM

Speaking of prairie agalinis…

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Speaking of prairie agalinis (Agalinis heterophylla), as I did briefly last time, here’s a view of that wildflower in its own right along the upper stretch of Bull Creek on September 12th. The pink cloud is an out-of-focus vision of more prairie agalinis flowers in the background.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 23, 2016 at 5:10 AM

Bitterweed colony

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For weeks I’ve been seeing colonies of bitterweed, Helenium amarum var. amarum, turning parts of fields yellow, like this one along BMC Drive in Cedar Park on September 9th. If you’d like a reminder of what an individual flower head in this species looks like, you can turn back to a post from this past winter. The few pink flowers in today’s photograph are prairie agalinis, Agalinis heterophylla.

Today marks the autumnal equinox in the northern hemisphere. Let me add that afternoon highs in Austin for most of the last few days have been around 98°F (37°C). That (and until now the calendar) notwithstanding, posts here over the last couple of weeks have kept demonstrating that even in such heat Austin’s plants are smart enough to have entered fall mode.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 22, 2016 at 5:06 AM

Not yet its own flowers

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As of September 9th these poverty weed bushes (Baccharis neglecta) along BMC Drive in Cedar Park hadn’t yet produced any of their own flowers but were adorned with those of Ipomoea cordatotriloba, known as purple bindweed or tievine, which had been having a great time around central Texas for some weeks already, both crawling along the ground and climbing on other things. Notice how the vine was questing into the air in several places, looking to go higher even when there was nothing any higher to latch on to.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 21, 2016 at 4:56 AM

Two blackfoot daisies

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When I walked the trail you heard about last time through woods and meadows along the upper reaches of Bull Creek on September 12th, I saw that the blackfoot daises (Melampodium leucanthum), which have their first flourishing in the spring, were going at it again in goodly numbers. Here you see two of them in a fringe where sunshine and shadows met.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 20, 2016 at 4:55 AM

Beautyberry with fruit

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When I walked a mostly shaded trail along the upper reaches of Bull Creek on September 12th I passed several American beautyberry bushes (Callicarpa americana) that had already produced fruit.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 19, 2016 at 5:09 AM

Tapestries of yellow

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In a comment this morning about the picture of a dense partridge pea colony, MelissaBlueFineArt spoke of “whole tapestries of yellow, shimmering from lemon yellow to old gold.” Normally the flowers of partridge pea (Chamaecrista fasciculata) are of a yellow that leans toward orange, but in the colony that I photographed on September 7th along Central Commerce Dr. in Pflugerville I was quickly drawn to a very few plants with flowers of an unusually pale yellow that I don’t recall ever seeing in this species anywhere else.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 18, 2016 at 8:43 AM

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