Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

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

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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

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Volo Bog lushness

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Volo Bog Lushness 7418

Now that you’ve seen a few closeups of plants at the Volo Bog State Natural Area in Lake County, Illinois, on June 7th, here’s a wide-angle view showing the lushness of the bog.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 20, 2016 at 4:52 AM

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Horsetail detail

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Horsetail Detail 7461

From the Volo Bog State Natural Area in Lake County, Illinois, on June 7th comes this elongated closeup of a horsetail (Equisetum spp.).

Of the more than two thousand photographs that have appeared here over the past five years, this may be the one with the greatest height-to-width ratio.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 19, 2016 at 4:44 AM

Why is it called prairie smoke?

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Okay, you say, I get the prairie, but why the smoke? Here’s why:

Prairie Smoke Plumes 7183

After the flowers of Geum triflorum get fertilized, they produce tufts of wispy strands that from a distance and with some imagination look like puffs of smoke. Another vernacular name, old man’s whiskers, comes very close to the old man’s beard I’m so familiar with in Austin. Despite the striking resemblance in the two flowers’ latter stages, these plants aren’t even in the same botanical family. Yet another plant that ends up like this is the Apache plume I saw in New Mexico two years ago.

Today’s picture, like yesterday’s, is from the Volo Bog State Natural Area in Lake County, Illinois, on June 7th.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 18, 2016 at 5:00 AM

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