Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for April 24th, 2013

More of an overview

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Click for greater detail.

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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

Texas stars and bluebonnets

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Texas Star Flowers in Bluebonnet Colony 8603

The bluebonnet* is the official wildflower of Texas. In fact five species collectively play that role; the one shown here is Lupinus texensis. (If you’d like a reminder of how a bluebonnet looks when it’s developing, you can go back to a close-up photograph from two months ago.)

A wildflower from a different family, Lindheimera texana, has come to be called Texas star or Texas yellow star. Like the star on the state flag, a Texas star flower head always has five rays—as opposed to most local yellow composite flowers, where the number of rays varies from one specimen to another within a given species. Another distinctive characteristic of Lindheimera texana is the notch at the tip of each ray (which you can see more clearly in a close-up from 2012).

Last week, in writing about a photograph dominated by colonies of old plainsman and verbena, I said I’d eventually identify the yellow flowers in the lower right corner of that picture. Now you know what they were.

Date: April 12.  Place: Interstate 35 at Onion Creek Parkway in far south Austin.


* Although bluebonnets usually look purple to me, I’ll confess that this group could pass for true blue.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 24, 2013 at 6:20 AM

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