Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for March 27th, 2013

White prickly poppy basal rosette

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Click for greater clarity.

Click for greater clarity.

In the first week of March I’d already seen several white prickly poppy flowers along Mopac, so on March 7th I went to check the place in Great Hills Park where I’d photographed a few Argemone albiflora plants in recent years. I found them lagging behind their highway counterparts, with little more than basal rosettes of leaves. I say “little more,” but no more is needed to explain, if not the white poppy in the plant’s name, then certainly the prickly. Every leaf lobe that you see here, no matter how small, bears a needle-sharp spine at its tip, and there are many more little needles on both surfaces of the leaves. One even came home in my right index finger and stayed there for weeks. I think this picture is a better souvenir.

If you’d like an enlargement of the smallest leaves in the picture, the ones that were just emerging, you can click the icon below.

White Prickly Poppy Rosette 1339A

And if you’re wondering whether this is a black and white photograph, it is. I thought an image without any distracting color would be better for revealing the fractal-like patterns of white prickly poppy leaves. This is only the second black and white picture I’ve shown here; the other was an ancient one from 1976, and infrared to boot.

Those of you who are interested in photography as a craft will find that points 7, 9, 15, 18, and 25 in About My Techniques are relevant to this photograph.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 27, 2013 at 6:12 AM

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