Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for April 5th, 2012

An even closer view of a Texas dandelion

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Click for greater size and clarity.

Following up on the picture in the last post, here’s a still closer view of a Texas dandelion, Pyrrhopappus pauciflorus. Now you can make out the five little teeth at the tip of each ray flower.

I photographed this Texas dandelion at the old Union Hill Cemetery in northeastern Round Rock on April 2. The prairie wind was blowing (from right to left, as you see things here) at about 20 miles an hour, so I used a shutter speed of 1/500 sec. to stop most of the motion of the dandelion. The patches of purple in the background (which you may see more clearly if you click the image) are from the many bluebonnets growing in the cemetery, but the dandelion was so bright in the sunlight that the bluebonnets and other nearby plants came out dark by comparison.

For those of you who are interested in this native dandelion, I’ll add that it grows in Mexico and in various states in the southern United States, as you can confirm at the USDA website. For those interested in photography as a craft, points 1, 2, 4, and 13 in About My Techniques are relevant to this photograph.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 5, 2012 at 1:08 PM

Fine and dandy

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Click for greater size and clarity.

Texas dandelions, Pyrrhopappus pauciflorus, added plenty of local color to the previous picture, but they remained indistinct in the background. Here’s a closer look at them on a property a few miles down the highway from the location shown in the last photograph. Now you can see some differences between the native Texas dandelion and the more widespread European one.

The slightly more orange yellow flowers in the background are bladderpods, which belong to the genus Lesquerella, and which are having a banner year; I’ve seen fields covered with these low-growing little plants this spring. The violet-colored flowers are baby blue-eyes, Nemophila phacelioides. The prominent green plant at the right is a species of Lepidium, commonly called peppergrass, even though it’s not a grass. People also call it pepperweed, the last part of which shows disdain, but my tongue disdains it not: whenever I get the chance, I nibble bits of this member of the mustard family in order to savor its tangy, peppery taste.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 5, 2012 at 5:43 AM

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