Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for April 2013

Sleepy orange

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Sleepy Orange Sulphur Butterfly on Grass 5434

This one did seem sleepy, letting me get and stay close for a long time as I took lots of pictures. Entomologists call the sleepy orange* sulphur butterfly Eurema nicippe. You could drop three letters from that species name and it would still be nice. If you also dropped the n you’d be regressing to winter, so don’t do it.

The date was April 1st, the place the right-of-way beneath the power lines that cross the southern portion of my Great Hills neighborhood.


* Most of the orange is on the inner surfaces of the folded wings, where you can’t see it in this pose. I expect the intense yellow will be prize enough for your eyes.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman


Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 30, 2013 at 6:20 AM

Engelmann daisy from the side

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Click for greater clarity.

Click for greater clarity.

Last spring I went a bit crazy and declared April 10 to be Engelmann Daisy Day, even to the point of posting not one or two but three times that day. Although 2013 has already been an excellent year for Engelmann daisies, I won’t be so extravagant this time around, but here’s a pleasantly soft side view of Engelmannia peristenia photographed at the Mueller Greenway on the overcast morning of March 29, which was one month ago today. Of course you’re welcome to follow the links in the opening sentence and have a second (or first) look at some pretty (and pretty different) takes on Engelmann daisies.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 29, 2013 at 6:12 AM

Crab spider on rain-lily

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Mecaphesa Crab Spider on Rain-Lily 7558

Click for larger size and greater clarity, especially in the spider’s small hairs.

When I went walking on April 11th I found plenty of spiders, including this pale green one on the tips of two tepals of a rain-lily, Cooperia pedunculata. Thanks to Joe Lapp for telling me that this crab spider is in the genus Mecaphesa.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 28, 2013 at 6:15 AM

Rain-lily flower stalk by four-nerve daisy flower head

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Rain-Lily Sheath by Tetraneuris linearifolia Flower Head 7259

The last post showed you the bud of a rain-lily, Cooperia pedunculata, along Stonelake Blvd. on April 9. The time before that you saw a white prickly poppy flower in a colony of four-nerve daisies, Tetraneuris linearifolia. This photograph from the same session as those two combines elements of both: in the foreground you have the lower portion of a rain-lily’s long flower tube, and in the background an out-of-focus four-nerve daisy nearby. None of the rain-lily’s characteristic whiteness is in evidence here, and that’s one reason I’m fond of this atypical view.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 27, 2013 at 6:19 AM

Another white

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Rain-Lily Bud 7279

Around the corner from the white prickly poppy, and a short while earlier, I’d lain down among some rain-lilies, Cooperia pedunculata, to take pictures of their flowers and buds. The tissue-like petals of the prickly poppy have intricate patterns, and the tepals of the rain-lily do, too, along with a pink tinge absent from the other flower.

The date was April 9, and 2–3 inches of rain the previous week had precipitated the season’s first generation of these flowers. The green arcs in the background are leaves of nearby rain-lilies.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 26, 2013 at 6:14 AM

White prickly poppy in a colony of four-nerve daisies

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Click for greater clarity.

Click for greater clarity.

It was April 9 when I photographed this white prickly poppy, Argemone albiflora, minus two of its petals, in a colony of four-nerve daisies, Tetraneuris linearifolia. The place was close to the spot on Braker Ln. where I’d found an early Mexican hat flowering in February.

The patterns in the prickly poppy’s petals are special, aren’t they? If you’d like a closer and somewhat different view of a petal, you can look back at a post from last June. And if you’d also like a reminder of what the new basal leaves of a white prickly poppy look like, you can return to a post from this March.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 25, 2013 at 6:16 AM

More of an overview

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Click for greater detail.

Click for greater detail and size.

Here’s a view from higher and farther back than last time, showing how the large bluebonnet colony that I found on April 12 along Interstate 35 at Onion Creek Parkway in far south Austin was punctuated by a few flowers of other colors, including some Texas yellow stars.

And suddenly this reminds me of the scene in Gone with the Wind where the camera slowly rises and pulls back to reveal more and more of the wounded soldiers—those wearing not the blue but the gray of “the blue and the gray”—densely covering the ground in Atlanta.

And suddenly that reminds me of Salvatore Quasimodo‘s dense poem:

Ognuno sta solo sul cuor della terra
trafitto da un raggio di sole:
ed è subito sera.

Everyone stands alone at the heart of the earth,
pierced by a ray of sunshine:
and suddenly it’s evening.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 24, 2013 at 1:39 PM

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