Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for March 8th, 2012

Four-nerve daisy’s folding and fading phase

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Over the past few months these pages have brought you several views of the four-nerve daisy, which exists in central Texas as two similar species of Tetraneuris. Both of them do the same characteristic thing: as their flower heads go to seed and begin to dry out, the central disk bulges upward into a hemisphere. At the same time, the surrounding rays turn downward and typically fold in against the flower head; there they usually stay, gradually losing much of their yellow and ending up looking white and papery. Today’s photograph from February 23 shows you those features in Tetraneuris linearifolia.

I made this portrait on a cloudy morning; I faced in the direction of the sun, so in order to keep the flower from looking black against the brighter sky behind it I used my ring flash. Because of the resulting brightness of the four-nerve daisy, roles were reversed and the sky ended up looking darker than it really was. The clouds still reveal themselves as the conspicuous gray across the bottom of the picture and as some darker gray that’s less noticeable in the upper part of the frame.

For more information, and to see a state-clickable map of the places in the south-central United States where Tetraneuris linearifolia grows, you can visit the USDA website.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 8, 2012 at 5:48 AM

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