A lot going on here
1) The yellow flower head that has lost its rays is goldeneye, Viguiera dentata.
2) The plant with the questing red tendril that has managed to catch hold of the goldeneye and seems to be straining back to reel it in is a greenbrier vine, Smilax bona-nox.
3) The long daubs of bright red-orange in the background are the leaflets of a prairie flameleaf sumac, Rhus lanceolata, at its colorful peak. More about that next time.
The date was November 20, and this photograph came at the end of four hours spent photographing, mostly on the prairie, but by the time I took my last pictures of the day I was close to home on an undeveloped property behind Seton Northwest Hospital.
For those of you who are interested in photography as a craft, points 1, 2, 5, 12, 15 and 16 in About My Techniques are relevant to this photograph.
© 2012 Steven Schwartzman