Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for June 10th, 2012

Mealy blue sage and a different floral companion

with 14 comments

Click for greater clarity.

Let’s get even closer to some mealy blue sage, Salvia farinacea, so you can see the flowers’ structure. I recorded this view a day later than and a few miles north of the cloud-compassed one you saw yesterday. Note the buds at the top of the stalk that are just about to open. I won’t point out yet again that various flowers with blue in their name aren’t blue.*

In contrast to what you saw in different shades of red in this morning’s photograph, the wildflowers behind the sage shown here are Gaillardia pulchella, known as firewheels and Indian blankets, which still had a widespread presence around Austin on June 1 when I made this picture. Some of them continue flowering even now, though many have shed their flowers and turned to globes.

For those of you who are interested in photography as a craft, points 1, 2, 5 and 18 in About My Techniques are relevant to this photograph.


* This is an old rhetorical device: you say that you won’t say a certain thing, and in saying that you won’t say it you do say it. Language can be as much fun to play with as flowers, and words are always in season.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 10, 2012 at 12:42 PM

Mealy blue sage and a floral entourage

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Click for greater clarity and larger size.

Yesterday you saw a mealy blue sage colony I recently took a picture of in Austin. I’d forgotten that on March 31, during a nearly 300-mile wildflower circuit south of Austin, I photographed an early mealy blue sage growing in a colony of standing winecups in the town of Goliad, as you see here. Botanists call the sage Salvia farinacea and the winecups Callirhoe pedata. Winecups are mallows, but if you see a resemblance to certain poppies, you’re not alone: a couple of other vernacular names for this species include the term poppy-mallow.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 10, 2012 at 5:56 AM

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