Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for February 1st, 2012

More seasonal leaf color

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I used to say fall color, meaning fall leaf color, but in the warm climate of central Texas warm leaf colors can continue into December and even January, so I’m tending toward the more-inclusive term seasonal leaf color. Examples that you’ve seen so far have been the leaves of rattan, Texas red oak, cedar elm, flameleaf sumac, and even poison ivy. Cometh now a native grass that botanists call Chasmanthium latifolium, and that the rest of us know by one or several of the names given for the plant on the website of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center: inland sea oats (the one I first learned), Indian wood oats, wild oats, river oats, flathead oats, upland oats, and upland sea oats. As some of those names confirm, this grass is common in the woods and near creeks. I photographed this inland sea oats leaf on January 22 along a portion of the Smith Memorial Trail that passes close to Bull Creek.

Of course leaves can dry out and turn bright colors in hot weather too, as some of you saw back in August in a photograph of a bulrush; it’s a sedge rather than a grass, and its leaves are typically several feet long rather than just a few inches, but its texture and colors were similar to those of the inland sea oats leaf shown above.

To learn more about Chasmanthium latifolium, and to see a state-clickable map showing the many places where the species grows, you can visit the USDA website.

If you’re curious about photography as a craft, you’ll find that points 1, 2, 4, 6, 9, and especially 12 in About My Techniques apply to today’s image.

And to anyone who hasn’t noticed the calendar—or who has—I’ll wish you a happy first day of February in a year that offers 28 more of them.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 1, 2012 at 5:09 AM

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