Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Harmostes bug

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Pale Green Bug on Ageratina havanensis 7329

How about this bug in the genus Harmostes that I found on an Ageratina havanensis bush that was flowering way out of season on June 8th along Old Spicewood Springs Road? (Thanks to the folks at bugguide.net for quickly identifying the genus.)

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 2, 2015 at 5:29 AM

New Zealand comes to Texas

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Colorful Rock at McKinney Falls State Park 1251

New Zealand comes to Texas—figuratively speaking, that is. I went a bit crazy over abstract patterns I found over there in rocks, shells, liverworts, lichens, geothermal formations, clouds, etc. Since then I’ve been searching close to home for patterns that might rival, even if subtly, some of the ones from New Zealand. On August 19th I found this colorful panel of rock at McKinney Falls State Park in southeast Austin. Because abstract photographs often lack orientation, I’ll tell you that in this view you’re looking straight down.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 1, 2015 at 5:11 AM

Wispy paloverde tree

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Paloverde Tree Flowering 1221

This post’s title is redundant because paloverde trees, Parkinsonia aculeata, are wispy by nature. I took this picture of one near BMC Drive in Cedar Park* last year on August 5th. Now it’s the final day in August this year and I’m still seeing paloverde flowers here and there around town.

Fresh petals and old coexist in this cheery closeup from June 3rd near Seton Center Drive:

Paloverde Flowers Close 4767


* Cedar Park is a large suburb on the north side of Austin. When I moved to Austin in 1976, Cedar Park had about 2,000 inhabitants. The estimated population now is 65,000 and the town is still growing at a good clip.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 31, 2015 at 5:38 AM

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First rain-lilies of the second season

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Rain-Lily by Pond 2323

Rain-lilies appear here in the spring and then again toward the end of summer and into the fall. After two months of drought we finally had a bit of rain on August 20th, and four days later I began seeing a few rain-lilies along the expressway called Mopac. On August 26th at the pond behind Central Market on North Lamar I photographed this Cooperia drummondii, which I almost missed because it was the one and only rain-lily there.


I’m still backed up with pictures from June and July but don’t want current images to fall too far behind, so I’ve been alternating between older and more-recent photographs.


UPDATE: I’ve corrected a misidentification in a post from two weeks ago about Bastrop.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 30, 2015 at 5:16 AM

A better look at partridge pea when it isn’t yellow or green

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Partridge Pea Plant Turned Red with Cumulus Clouds 1199

And here’s a look at a red partridge pea plant, Chamaecrista fasciculata, in isolation against the sky and cumulus clouds above the Blackland Prairie in Pflugerville on July 16th.

If you’re interested in photography as a craft, point 24 in About My Techniques applies to this photograph.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 29, 2015 at 5:20 AM

Three stages and colors of partridge pea

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Partridge Pea Amid Dry Grasses on the Blackland Prairie 1321

The flowers of partridge pea, Chamaecrista fasciculata, are yellow, and of course the plant’s greenery is normally green. One thing I’ve noticed, though, is that while most plants turn brown as they dry out, partridge pea has a tendency to turn red. You can see all of those partridge pea colors here among the breeze-blown dry grasses on a surviving (so far) parcel of the Blackland Prairie in Pflugerville on July 16th.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 28, 2015 at 5:31 AM

Bluebell flower near some partridge peas that were also flowering

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Bluebell Flower by Partridge Pea Flowers 5715

In a recent post that used a picture from 2014 I mentioned my late-in-the-season find this year of a few bluebells, Eustoma exaltatum ssp. russellianum. The flowers were down low, close to a creek or pond adjacent to the Costco in Cedar Park, a little bit of nature I’d been meaning to explore photographically for some time but finally got around to checking out. In fact I ended up photographing there three times in August, with this view being from my visit on the 11th of the month. The yellow in the background came from some flowers of partridge pea, Chamaecrista fasciculata.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 27, 2015 at 5:33 AM


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