Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for July 20th, 2011

A seed that I planted

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Clematis drummondii glinting in the sunlight.

When I began this column some six weeks ago I put up about half a dozen posts in short order so that anyone coming upon the blog would have several things to look at. I primed the pump, to use a figure of speech. But to use another, and a botanical one, I metaphorically planted a seed: in some of those first posts I showed photographs of early stages in the flowering of Clematis drummondii, a plant that I’m fond of portraying. In the June 7 post I included two pictures of a Clematis drummondii bud beginning to split open, and the next day I showed a picture that looks down on an emerging flower. The following day I put up a view from the side of a flower that had opened even further, as well as a close-up of the “starburst” phase of a flower. And then I fell silent on the subject of Clematis drummondii, but it was a silence I knew I would break after the plant entered its most photogenic phase.

The time to break that silence is now, now that Clematis drummondii has been doing its thing in central Texas. You may want to take a moment to follow the above links back to the earlier stages of the plant because the past is, after all, prologue, and only a few readers of this post are likely to be familiar with this species. Today’s photograph reveals that the fertilized flowers of Clematis drummondii produce strands that shine when the sun hits them at the appropriate angle and makes them look almost metallic. The silvery glints that you see in this photograph are from reflected sunlight; I didn’t use any flash here.

© 2011 Steven Schwartzman

(Visit the USDA website for more information about Clematis drummondii, including a clickable map showing where the species grows.)

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 20, 2011 at 6:00 AM

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