Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for March 4th, 2013

Poverty weed’s gestalt

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Poverty Weed Putting on New Leaves 8781

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Most of the appearances in these pages of poverty weed, Baccharis neglecta, have highlighted the flowers and tufts and fluff that grace our central Texas autumns. Now, with the last picture and this one, both from the spring, you should be getting a feel for the gestalt* of poverty weed as it looks most of the year, when it’s not putting on its special show. Particularly distinctive is the herringbone pattern of the bush’s slender branches, which you can make out in both photographs.

Like the previous photograph, this one comes from a February 21st session on the prairie in northeast Austin. The background looks so different here because I was aiming in the opposite direction, toward a section of sky that had no clouds in it; what a difference a point of view can make, no? Either way, the advent of spring was prompting new leaves to come out on all of the many poverty weed bushes that had sprung up in the area.

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* Here’s the definition of gestalt given in the American Heritage Dictionary: “A physical, biological, psychological, or symbolic configuration or pattern of elements so unified as a whole that its properties cannot be derived from a simple summation of its parts.” Merriam-Webster says this: “a structure, configuration, or pattern of physical, biological, or psychological phenomena so integrated as to constitute a functional unit with properties not derivable by summation of its parts.”

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 4, 2013 at 1:07 PM

What of a pertinacity of a pliability of a poverty of a plant…. *

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Click for greater clarity.

Click for greater clarity.

The plant in question is poverty weed, Baccharis neglecta, a shrub or slight tree that is not only pliable but pertinacious, springing up easily on desolate ground and quickly colonizing it. When I went to the prairie in northeast Austin on February 21st, I made poverty weed my priority, neglecting almost everything else yet finding no poverty of opportunities for photographs.

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* If you’d like to see what the title of this post is parodying, you can click here.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 4, 2013 at 6:23 AM

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