Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Farther beyond sleek

with 20 comments

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The last photograph was a close view of a Clematis drummondii seed core, with each seed attached to a feathery strand. At the same July 18th session that produced that picture, I took this one of a more advanced stage in the plant’s development. Here you see that the seeds in the core have turned more brown than red, a sign that they’ve matured and partly dried out. Some of them have already fallen or been blown away; a few have come loose but are still present; seven or so are still attached to the core, though not for long.

As a tribute to imagination, I’ll add that Eve saw the arrangement of these strands as a stylized heart.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 6, 2012 at 6:13 AM

20 Responses

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  1. So wunderschön und sogar ein Herz!!


    August 6, 2012 at 6:48 AM

    • Ja, das ist, was meine Frau gesagt hat.
      So you, too, see this as a heart, the way my wife did.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 6, 2012 at 6:56 AM

  2. Wow, the difference is so interesting (and so beautifully photographed, as always). BTW, a little thank you to you is over my way . . .

    Susan Scheid

    August 6, 2012 at 11:00 AM

    • Thanks for the kind words here and over your way, Susan. The way plant species change as they develop has fascinated me for a long time, and I’ve spent a lot of time photographing the different stages of some of the native species in central Texas (Clematis drummondii is a particular favorite). That said, I confess that plants come in a poor second to insects, whose adult forms can be so different from their larvae; the classic example is caterpillars and butterflies. Still, I don’t know that I could originally have predicted today’s picture after seeing the species’ bud and flower.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 6, 2012 at 11:34 AM

      • Have you perhaps just disproved your hypothesis about insects vs. plants (OK, I know, the exception proves the rule). Bottom line: the metamorphosis of the Clematis is extraordinary.

        Susan Scheid

        August 6, 2012 at 7:27 PM

    • Perhaps. Still, as wonderful as the development of the Clematis is, I don’t think I can convince myself that it’s as dramatic as the change from a caterpillar to a moth or butterfly. But I won’t quibble about hierarchies of miracles: I’ll take them all!

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 6, 2012 at 8:03 PM

  3. Félicitations pour votre infatigable régularité à exprimer votre passion. Cette photo est très réussie. I follow !

    Pedro de la Punta

    August 6, 2012 at 3:10 PM

    • Merci d’avoir suivi ce blog, Pedro. Vouz avez raison de dire que j’exprime avec régularité ma passion, mais j’avoue qu’il y a pas mal de moments où l’infatigable devient le fatigué!

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 6, 2012 at 3:25 PM

  4. We don’t seem to have that species of Clematis here, but the one we do have acts similarly. It took me quite awhile before I realized that was the clematis in seed.


    August 6, 2012 at 11:49 PM

    • I was happy to learn that there are similar species in other parts of the country, including in the East as well, so that lots of the rest of you can get to enjoy sights like this. You’re right that this late stage is hard to recognize from the flowers that precede it.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 7, 2012 at 6:04 AM

  5. Wonderful shot, perfect lighting!


    August 8, 2012 at 7:22 AM

    • This is one of those cases where I used flash even in broad daylight. Without the flash, the the plant in the foreground would have come out dark in comparison to the brightness of the sky.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 8, 2012 at 9:31 AM

  6. A beautiful juxtaposition of cloud and flower-feathers. The balance is perfect – both are ethereal, and both love to fly!


    August 8, 2012 at 9:09 PM

  7. […] side of the same street at whose corner I took the pictures of Clematis drummondii that appeared three and four posts back. Also coincidentally, last week the NASA vehicle called Explorer landed in a […]

  8. […] curious here is the presence of a second kind of vine, Clematis drummondii, whose feathery strands you’ve seen in these pages on several occasions. When two species of vines meet, it’s […]

  9. […] as “Photo seed of Clematis.” Whether someone writing in Russian wanted to see seeds of a Clematis that’s native in Texas I don’t know, but that’s what the search engine led […]

  10. […] And now here’s a look at a Clematis pitcheri, or purple leatherflower, at the stage where one of the vine’s drying seed cores has loosened its hold on many of its mature seeds and has left only a few still hanging on. Once again you’re welcome to compare this to the much more common Clematis drummondii when it’s at a similar stage. […]

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