Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

A metallic sheen where there’s no metal

with 10 comments

Clematis drummondii Strands Gleaming 1871

By late June I’d begun noticing the Clematis drummondii vines flowering in quantity around town, and by mid-July I found them doing their famous trick of producing strands that can look metallic as they glint, glare, glow, gleam, glimmer, and glisten in the glory of the sunlight, some say seemingly for our delight.

Speaking of the gloss of metal, I’ll add that this photograph is from the same July 19th session along Balcones Woods Dr. that brought you a photograph of a copper lily. If you look carefully at the wisps of Clematis drummondii in the upper left corner of the photograph, you’ll see that the strands in the background there look like copper wire.

Oh, and I should’ve told you that the height of today’s Clematis drummondii picture represents probably little more than 2 in. (5 cm). That’s a small space for so much shining.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 11, 2013 at 6:13 AM

10 Responses

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  1. I have a clematis vine at my mailbox. I’ve noticed strands on it, too. Your photograph brings me up close. I think I will go out there today with a magnifier for a better look at mine. Maybe they are silvery. I don’t know the variety of clematis off hand.

    Jim in IA

    August 11, 2013 at 6:42 AM

  2. What a lovely shot of a beautiful plant.

    • It’s one of my favorite plants to photograph each year, and you’ve seen why. I’ll be showing more views of it here over the next few days.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 11, 2013 at 8:27 AM

  3. And, glory…


    August 11, 2013 at 8:33 PM

  4. The strands in the foreground seem to have more substance in this photo. They remind me of bean sprouts, or a variety of Japanese noodle. Is it that they’re newer than the ones in the background, and haven’t “feathered out” so fully?


    August 12, 2013 at 9:50 PM

    • Yes, that’s it. As the strands age they get more feathery, like those in the upper left corner. I think it’s the feathery stage that prompted the name “old man’s beard.”

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 12, 2013 at 11:03 PM

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