Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for July 23rd, 2011

Clematis drummondii Swirls

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Clematis drummondii dénouement; click for more detail and larger size.

My online version of the New Oxford American Dictionary defines dénouement as “the final part of a play, movie, or narrative in which the strands of the plot are drawn together and matters are explained or resolved.” But in the dénouement of the Clematis drummondii narrative I’ve been spinning for the past few posts, the fertilized flowers’ strands are drawn not together but apart, where as feathery and glinting fibers they tangle and swirl and send my photographic mind swirling too.

It is this stage in the plant’s development and the drier one that follows that have earned it the colloquial name old man’s beard. But a rather small old man it is: everything you see in this view occupies just a couple of cubic inches. The green-turning-reddish object just below the center of the photograph is a seed core, with each seed attached to one of the shiny fibers that may allow it to be blown away when the core eventually loosens and all the mature seeds come undone.

© 2011 Steven Schwartzman

(For those interested in photography as an art and craft, see points 1, 8, 9, and 15 in About My Techniques.)

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

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 23, 2011 at 6:00 AM

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