Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

They’re back

with 18 comments

Click for greater clarity.

The title “They’re back”—which I’ve used before—applies to several things. What first occurred to me this time was that, like various other native species you’ve seen here in 2012, our sunflowers, Helianthus annuus, began to put in an appearance at least a month before their traditional time. By mid-April I’d started seeing a few of the familiar yellow flower heads along highways in my part of Austin, and with them came the ants that are common goers on these plants (sometimes at great cost, as early readers of this blog saw in a post last August).

Today’s title could also apply to the human workers that were back in goodly numbers to continue clearing a lot on the east side of US 183 just north of the busy Costco there. While the store’s parking lot has given this blog three pictures, the lot being cleared for development has provided a lot more (and given me a chance to play with the senses of the word lot). Last year I speculated on how much longer any bits of nature would be left there for me to photograph. By April 19 most of the land had been razed, but I was pleased to see that the stand of sunflowers I photographed last year was back: call it a last stand and you’ll probably be right. On one of those sunflower plants, which border the drive-through lane of a Wendy’s, I photographed this two-toned ant on some young leaves.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 3, 2012 at 5:31 AM

18 Responses

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  1. Incredible macro shot!! For some reason though, it just made me feel itchy. 🙂 LOL

  2. Details! They are so beautiful. The lighting says early morning to me. Is it? ~ Lynda


    May 3, 2012 at 7:15 AM

    • Thanks, Lynda. It wasn’t super early: my camera recorded 8:35 Standard Time, which is 9:35 Daylight Saving Time.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 3, 2012 at 7:31 AM

  3. I’ve sent this one to a friend who’s a native of Librizzi, Italy. She’s quite a historian, and quite a good representative of the “red ant” personality common to the town. From her history:

    “By [1411, when] the town was returned to the Bishops of Patti, the inhabitants of Librizzi had organized themselves in civitas and major conflicts with the Dioceses of Patti arose. The Bishop was claiming so many rights and demanded so many balzelli, “iniquitous tax” that the Librizzesi put up a ferocious fight against these taxes.

    It was at this time that the Librizzesi earned the reputation as the furmiculi russi, The Red Ants, an appellation that has survived to this day. The Bishops retaliated against the tenacious opposition of the Librizzesi by obtaining the help of Pope Pius V, who in 1567 and again in 1571 excommunicated the whole town! The Librizzesi did not cave in, not even after the second excommunication.”

    Perhaps we should send the furmiculi russi to do battle with the dozers!


    May 3, 2012 at 8:28 AM

    • Now there’s a weapon against the bulldozers and mowers that I never considered. Can you entice some of the Librizzesi to move to Texas?

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 3, 2012 at 12:58 PM

  4. Oh.. dear.. back to flowers please, this little guy is not my favorite (I have an ant aversion.. ) but it is still an incredible macro shot!!

    Just A Smidgen

    May 3, 2012 at 9:04 AM

  5. […] last picture, which featured an ant on an early sunflower plant, Helianthus annuus, may have left you wanting to see the thing that the plant is named for, so […]

  6. […]  Steve over at Portraits of Wildflowers was kind enough to debunk my whole story!  This little guy is a green anole lizard.  Check out […]

  7. A brilliant capture! Love the details of the ant 🙂


    May 4, 2012 at 3:58 PM

  8. That is the most photogenic ant I’ve ever seen!

    Susan Scheid

    May 5, 2012 at 6:36 PM

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