Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Gaillardia globes backlit

with 11 comments

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Four posts back you saw a fresh colony of Gaillardia pulchella, known as firewheels or Indian blankets; then came a closeup of a single flower head. Next you saw two views of the following stage, as the plants were losing their colorful rays and turning into globe-shaped seed heads. Now here’s the next stage, in which the globes have shed their seeds and are drying out. That hasn’t happened yet in 2012, but rather than waiting I decided to use a picture from June 28, 2011, that conveniently shows the same location on Bull Creek Dr. depicted here four posts ago. What appealed to me when I took this photograph last year was the way the morning sun provided a halo of backlighting around all the dried-out globes in the colony.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 14, 2012 at 5:27 AM

11 Responses

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  1. I need to send you a package of SASE’s so you can mail me seeds when they are happening. 😉
    ~ Lynda


    May 14, 2012 at 6:32 AM

  2. One of the best reminders I’ve seen here that there’s beauty in every stage of life. This is a lovely photo.


    May 14, 2012 at 7:25 AM

    • Yes, in every stage. It’s understandable why we’re attracted to things that are fresh and bright and colorful, but even the conventionally unappealing phases of death and its aftermath have their appeal.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 14, 2012 at 7:47 AM

  3. Great shot Steve!!! I like how you positioned yourself to have the seed heads backlit…excellent choice for the composition!!


    May 15, 2012 at 7:48 AM

    • It takes another photographer to notice. I drove by this field early enough that the sun was still pretty low, and I noticed how its position caused the backlighting. When I took my pictures I stayed pretty low, too, to maximize the effect.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 15, 2012 at 9:06 AM

  4. Wonderful Gaillardia sequence, and, as I’m late to arrive, I had the great experience of moving through them all at once. The backlight on the post-seed head globes here is particularly lovely.

    Susan Scheid

    May 16, 2012 at 10:12 AM

    • Thanks, Susan. You can tell I was taken with the backlighting that morning when I saw this colony and knew I had to take pictures.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 16, 2012 at 10:46 AM

  5. […] dead: to begin with.* There is no doubt whatever about that. But the little snail had given this dry Gaillardia pulchella a new sort of life by anointing it with slime, some of which accounted for the firewheel’s […]

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