Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for November 2013

Pink muhly from a little farther back

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Gulf Muhly 8596

Oh, and if you’d like to step back and get a better sense of what Muhlenbergia capillaris, called pink muhly and gulf muhly, looks like, and why people are increasingly planting it as an ornamental, I’m happy to oblige. Like the last picture, this one comes from the grounds of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, on the morning of November 9.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 30, 2013 at 12:14 PM

Dropping in on pink muhly

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Brown Bald Cypress Sprigs Fallen into Gulf Muhly 8680

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Muhlenbergia capillaris, a pretty grass known as pink muhly and gulf muhly, is native in parts of Arkansas as well as Texas (and various other states). I found this one on the grounds of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, on November 9. Some brown sprigs from a bald cypress treeTaxodium distichum, had fallen into the feathery grass and remained caught there.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 30, 2013 at 6:00 AM

Ageratina havanensis

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Ageratina havanensis Flowers and Buds 7775

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I took this closeup of Ageratina havanensis flowers and buds on the west side of Mopac on November 5th. Common names for this bush include Havana snakeroot, shrubby boneset, and white mistflower. Don’t you like the way the pink buds are packed into little honeycomb-like bundles?

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 29, 2013 at 6:00 AM

A horizontal look at fall color on the grounds of the Crystal Bridges Museum

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Fall Foliage at Crystal Bridges Museum 8666

Here’s some more great fall foliage from the grounds of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, on the morning of November 9th. It was a mostly cloudy day, but patches of blue sky appeared from time to time.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 28, 2013 at 6:04 AM

Color on the grounds of the Crystal Bridges Museum

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Fall Foliage at Crystal Bridges 8598

Here’s some fetching fall foliage from the grounds of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, on November 9th.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 27, 2013 at 5:59 AM

Sumacs turning red

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Sumacs Turning Red 8448

On November 8th, along Highway 23 a little south of Eureka Springs, Arkansas, I found a row of sumacs putting on their usual bright display of fall foliage. As we traveled I saw these low sumacs, often only several feet tall, in many places in western Arkansas and far eastern Oklahoma, but I’m afraid I don’t know which species of Rhus they are. Outside of central Texas I’m a stranger in a strange land, botanically speaking. In any case, in addition to the brilliance of these roadside sumacs in their own right, I liked the contrast they made with the larger, darker, and mostly leafless trees beyond them.

If you’re interested in photography as a craft, you’ll find that point 12 in About My Techniques is especially relevant to this photograph.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 26, 2013 at 6:05 AM

A closer view of American beautyberry fruit

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American Beautyberry Fruit 3954

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Callicarpa americana is commonly called American beautyberry because of its clusters of little magenta fruits, many of which embellished the last post. On October 23rd, two weeks before the Arkansas trip, I’d made this closeup of clusters (count them as 2+ or 3-) along Bull Creek in northwestern Austin. The bunch near the center of the photograph was illuminated by a shaft of sunlight, so its colors are a little brighter than those of the other bunches.

According to the revised edition of Texas Wildflowers: “Many birds feed on the berries and will contend with each other to include a bush in their feeding area.” People, on the other hand, may admire the fruits for their colors and use leafless branches of them in cut-plant decorations, but can’t eat them. (UPDATE: you’ll find a revision of that last statement in my reply to a question from Jim, below.)

To see the varied places in the southeastern United States where American beautyberry grows, you can check the state-clickable map at the USDA website.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 25, 2013 at 6:00 AM

American beautyberry with dense fruit

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American Beautyberry with Dense Fruit 8460

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I found this American beautyberry, Callicarpa americana, covered with dense fruit on November 8th at the Hobbs Conservation Management Area in northwestern Arkansas. This is a different sort of fall color from what people usually think about, but autumn is indeed the season when these fruits mature.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 24, 2013 at 6:00 AM

Outdoors indoors

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Thorncrowne Chapel 8283

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The attendant at the glass-walled Thorncrown Chapel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, told us when we visited on November 8th that we’d missed the peak color by from several days to a week. As a result, the “standard” horizontal panoramic photograph taken inside the chapel looking toward the front, whether with green or gold foliage visible through the glass, was out of the question. Instead, I went for this unconventional view in which opposite outsides merged: the outside behind me was reflected in the glass in front of me at the same time that the outside in front of me was visible through the glass. Also notice the way the straight lines of the chapel’s architecture contrasted with the forms of nature, in which straight lines are rare, and the way the brown of the wood used for the chapel’s interior harmonized with the colors of the tree trunks and the drying leaves outside.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 23, 2013 at 6:03 AM

Outside Thorncrown Chapel

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Fall Foliage in Eureka Springs 8225

The group of trees shown here greeted us along the entrance road to the Thorncrown Chapel in Eureka Springs on November 8th, a blue-sky day given over mostly to sightseeing in nature. What first attracted me was the low branch whose leaves shone dazzling yellow in a shaft of morning sunlight. Had I waited till after visiting the chapel to photograph these trees, the light would already have moved on and left the low leaves no longer gleaming.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 22, 2013 at 6:04 AM

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