Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for December 4th, 2011

Buffalo gourd bonus

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It dawned on me yesterday afternoon that December 4 would be the half-year anniversary of this column, so to mark the occasion here’s a second picture for today: a closeup of a buffalo gourd flower. This is not just an enlargement of the central portion of yesterday’s photograph, but a separate picture taken more closely and with the camera’s flash turned on so I could stop down the aperture to get a greater depth of field (December 1 was an overcast day). Happy second sight.

The "fist" at the center of a buffalo gourd flower; click for greater detail.

For more information about Cucurbita foetidissima, including a state-clickable map showing the many places where this plant grows, you can visit the USDA website.

© 2011 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 4, 2011 at 6:00 AM

Buffalo gourd tendrils

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The last post post showed a buffalo gourd flower on the noisy embankment of the US 183 freeway adjacent to the Gateway Shopping Center in my northwestern part of Austin. As I said yesterday, Cucurbita foetidissima likes to hang out in places like this. As I didn’t say then, buffalo gourd is a vine, but it’s an atypical one: where so many vines climb high on plants, trees, fences, and other structures, Cucurbita foetidissima uses its tendrils to latch onto low things in order to stay anchored close to the ground. In the tangle that you see here, which was just inches above the earth, the tightly coiled buffalo gourd tendrils have grabbed onto some bits of dried grass.

For more information about Cucurbita foetidissima, including a state-clickable map showing the many places where this plant grows, you can visit the USDA website.

© 2011 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 4, 2011 at 5:30 AM

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