Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for September 9th, 2012

Snow-on-the-mountain

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You recently saw some pictures of Euphorbia bicolor, colloquially known as snow-on-the-prairie because it grows in the eastern third of Texas, much of which is coastal prairie. Austin is at the western edge of that species’s range, and if you cross to the west side of town and enter what is called the Texas Hill Country, you find a closely related species, Euphorbia marginata, or snow-on-the-mountain (English-speaking settlers here in the 19th century really did call the hills mountains). Roughly speaking, Interstate 35 and the Balcones Fault that it parallels provide a line of demarcation between the two species in central Texas.

I took this photograph of a flowering colony of snow-on-the-mountain on an undeveloped lot between two industrial buildings in Cedar Park, a suburb just to the north of Austin. The date was August 30, by which time I’d already been finding (and photographing) the species flowering for two or three weeks.

There’s a slight pink tinge in the clouds that is not an artifact of processing the photograph. I noticed that faint bit of color when I looked through the camera’s viewfinder; I was puzzled by it then, and I still am.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 9, 2012 at 6:10 AM

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