Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for February 12th, 2012

Yellow and blue

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And here’s a view from February 7, when I returned to Great Hills Park to see how the elbowbush, Forestiera pubescens, was coming along: it turned out that in the six days since my last visit most of the buds had opened.

A friend of mine once lightheatedly said, with respect to an Ashe juniper, “Meet Mrs. Tree,” but in this case we’ll have to say “Meet Mr. Tree” or more accurately “Meet Mr. Shrub.” Forestiera pubescens is what botanists call dioecious, meaning that there are separate male and female plants in the species; this post’s photograph, like the previous one, shows the flowers of a male elbowbush. Another botanical term that applies to what you see here is precocious flowering, which refers to the behavior of a species whose flowers develop before any leaves have appeared.

On the technical side, I’ll point out that I used flash to supplement natural light in this picture. That served two purposes: it brightened the shadowy recesses and it let me stop down more to increase the depth of field and keep more of the stamens in focus.

To see the many places in the Southwest where Forestiera pubescens grows, you can consult the state-clickable map at the USDA website.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 12, 2012 at 1:15 PM

Yellow and yellow

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Click for greater sharpness.

The last place I stopped on February 1 when I was on my way home from wildflower adventures along Mopac and at Costco was my neighborhood nature playground, Great Hills Park. One native plant that normally buds and flowers in Austin in February is the elbowbush, Forestiera pubescens, and since I knew the location of one in that park, I wanted to see how it was coming along. Sure enough, when I followed the trail to it I found that its red buds were beginning to open and reveal the yellow stamens inside. In addition, this elbowbush was heavily covered (colored is what I first typed by mistake) with lichen, some of which was also yellow.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 12, 2012 at 5:46 AM

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