Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Clematis and Liatris

with 28 comments

Clematis drummondii Strands on Liatris mucronata Flowers 1455A

Another thing I found in, and even on, the blazing-star, Liatris mucronata, in the field at the corner of Metric Blvd. and Howard Ln. on October 9 was our old friend Clematis drummondii. I still think its strands at this stage look like plastic-coated copper wires. Okay, the strands may not be metallic, but during a good part of the year they’re current and I always get a charge out of them. Positively.

If you’re interested in photography as a craft, you’ll find that points 1, 2, 9 and 15 in About My Techniques are relevant to this photograph. If you’re interested in wordplay, you’ll get your share of it on this site.


I’m out of town for a few days, so please forbear if it takes me a while to answer comments.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 9, 2013 at 6:02 AM

28 Responses

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  1. The swirls are as beautiful as the blooms. Lovely textures.


    November 9, 2013 at 6:10 AM

  2. There’s nothing static about this image! I’m curious about all those pods scattered about. They must be part of the Liatris, but I’ve never seen any evidence of such a thing. Do they fall away, leaving only the fluff? If so, I was too late to collect any seed from the ones I saw, even if I’d remembered I intended to do so.

    Thanks for such a delightful photograph, and the great word play.


    November 9, 2013 at 6:44 AM

    • Nothing static indeed.

      What might appear to be slender green pods are actually the narrow leaves of the plant you suspected they belong to, the Liatris. Because this genus is in the sunflower family, there aren’t any pods. There are still some seeds amid the fluff of the Liatris mucronata in Austin, so you might be able to collect a few from the species of Liatris in your area.

      You’re welcome to the photography and for the wordplay.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 9, 2013 at 8:27 AM

    • By the way, I should’ve added that biologists have borrowed the Latin word mucro (with stem mucron-) to designate ‘a pointed part of an organ,’ especially ‘a pointy tip,’ so this species is named Liatris mucronata because of the points at the tips of the narrow leaves. The leaves are stiff enough that their points can feel sharp against human skin, as I can attest.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 10, 2013 at 7:00 AM

  3. Beautifully shot!
    hey is anyone else not liking this this new wordpress reader? I don’t think it shows anyone’s blogs as well as the “old” reader did!


    November 9, 2013 at 7:01 AM

    • I find they open into a small window and then you have to open it in full – quite annoying. (or is that just me?) I just wish they’d stop changing things all the time!


      November 9, 2013 at 8:08 AM

      • I don’t think there’s any chance of WordPress not frequently changing things, alas.

        Steve Schwartzman

        November 9, 2013 at 8:29 AM

      • I get different results depending on which machine and browser I use! But they all share that annoying pop-up first…then sometimes I can click and the full post opens…other times only an excerpt. I’m sure if I spent the time I could figure out why this happens, but frankly I don’t have the time!


        November 9, 2013 at 9:34 AM

        • You’re right that so much depends on the browser and computer operating system you’re using. Luckily I’m not experiencing the annoying pop-ups you mentioned; let’s hope it stays that way, and that you find a way to avoid the annoyance.

          Steve Schwartzman

          November 9, 2013 at 5:12 PM

  4. Nature is magical–lovely capture.


    November 9, 2013 at 7:30 AM

  5. That’s a very eye-catching photo. It has such a mixture of qualities. I agree about the plastic coated look.

    Jim in IA

    November 9, 2013 at 7:49 AM

  6. Reminds me of the candyfloss we were making last weekend 🙂


    November 9, 2013 at 8:06 AM

    • Candyfloss: that’s something I’ve never heard of. I hope yours turned out well.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 9, 2013 at 8:33 AM

      • It’s disgusting pink stuff made entirely out of sugar – was making it for a fireworks night at a local rugby club. I tried to keep out of the way as spun sugar escaped into the night; erving toffee apples was more my thing.


        November 9, 2013 at 9:30 AM

  7. Love it. A great lesson in composition for me.


    November 9, 2013 at 11:08 AM

  8. Only you would go from gorgeous photo of a clematis to plastic-coated copper wire to charge and current in not much more than a breath. But that’s what keeps us reading, as well as admiring the photos–to see what, on both counts, you’ll come up with next.

    Susan Scheid

    November 9, 2013 at 5:51 PM

    • Thanks for the vote of confidence, from one S.S. to another. Some of the idiosyncrasies that used to come out in my teaching now come out in these posts.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 9, 2013 at 7:51 PM

  9. Wonderful colors and texture


    November 9, 2013 at 8:10 PM

  10. La beauté du fouillis


    November 10, 2013 at 8:34 AM

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