Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for June 6th, 2012

Horsemint a little closer

with 19 comments

Click for greater clarity.

The last picture of Monarda citriodora didn’t make clear that an individual horsemint flower—which happens to remind me of a wide-open hippopotamus mouth—may have dark spots on it. This photograph of a whorl of horsemint flowers lets you see some of those spots. Whether you also see wide-open hippopotamus mouths is a function of your floral IQ (Imagination Quotient).

The south-central United States is the heartland for this species, but it grows in other places, too, as the state-clickable map at the USDA website confirms.


Thanks to leap-year, today is my 367th consecutive day of posting, and WordPress tells me that this is my 443rd post. Now it so happens that 367 and 443 are both prime numbers, so I’ll take this opportunity to say that I feel doubly in my prime. And that’s the end of this tribute that nature photography pays to arithmetic.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 6, 2012 at 1:04 PM

Horsemint per se

with 15 comments

Click for greater size and clarity.

You’ve seen photographs in which horsemints, Monarda citriodora, appeared as a group, but now it’s time to show you a closeup of an individual one so you can appreciate the complex structure of these pagoda-like flowers. Horsemint color varies quite a bit, from the saturated purple you saw in one group picture down to even paler shades than those that you saw in another group picture.

This photograph taken at Brodie Wild in south Austin dates from May 3, but even now, five weeks later, horsemints are still prominent in many places around central Texas. Lucky us.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 6, 2012 at 5:47 AM

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