Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Strangeness

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This is likely Rosa carolina but the fruit are distorted because of the Spiny rose gall wasp (Diplolepis bicolor).

At Illinois Beach State Park on June 9th I came across the unusual red things shown in today’s photograph. After I submitted the picture to the Illinois Native Plant Society, Rachel, who is the organization’s secretary, e-mailed me back to say that the plant is likely Rosa carolina and that the spiky red things are galls created by the spiny rose gall wasp, Diplolepis bicolor. Pretty strange, huh?

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 27, 2016 at 4:33 AM

Rosa carolina

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Rosa carolina Flower 6730

No rose grows natively in Austin, so when I visited the Diamond Grove Prairie outside Joplin, Missouri, on June 4th I was glad to see some flowers of Rosa carolina, which is native there and in plenty of other states. The second photograph shows that the colors of these roses vary.

Two Rosa carolina Flowers 6775

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 26, 2016 at 4:55 AM

Horace’s Duskywing on Drummond’s Clematis

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Horace's Duskywing Butterfly on Clematis drummondii Flowers 0558

In a comment on yesterday’s post about white wild indigo in Illinois, Sherry Felix pointed out the connection to the wild indigo duskywing butterfly. That species is found in Austin, so I’ve probably seen it without recognizing it (what I know about butterflies weighs only as little as one). Still, the mention of duskywings sent me looking back at some photographs I took on June 30 in Great Hills Park, where I’d stopped to check out the flowers on a mound of Clematis drummondii. Also checking them out, though of course for a different purpose, was a dark butterfly that I now take, thanks to a butterfly field guide, to be a Horace’s duskwing, Erynnis horatius.

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 25, 2016 at 4:49 AM

White wild indigo

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Baptisia 8096

On June 14, Melissa took us to the Grant Woods Forest Preserve in Lake County, Illinois. Among the native flowers we saw there was Baptisia alba, known as white wild indigo. From the second photograph you can see that some of the wild indigo was mixed in with spiderworts (Tradescantia ohiensis).

Baptisia and Spiderworts 8182

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 24, 2016 at 4:56 AM

Wild iris

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Swamp Iris Flower 7334

From the Volo Bog State Natural Area in Lake County, Illinois, on June 7th, here’s a wild iris flower, Iris virginica.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 23, 2016 at 5:03 AM

Female redwing blackbird

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Female Redwing Blackbird 7224

Look how different the female redwing blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) is from the male. Like the previous photograph, this one comes from the Volo Bog State Natural Area in Lake County, Illinois, on June 7th.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 22, 2016 at 5:08 AM

Posted in nature photography

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Redwing blackbird

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Redwing Blackbird on Cattail Remains 7214A

Just as I’ve seen redwing blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus) do in Austin, one had landed on a cattail stalk at the Volo Bog State Natural Area in Lake County, Illinois, on June 7th. This male seemed to be showing annoyance at our presence, or perhaps alarm, given how close the boardwalk passed to a nest with eggs in it.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 21, 2016 at 4:10 AM

Posted in nature photography

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