Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for January 2014

A different look at flameleaf sumac

with 29 comments

Flameleaf Sumac Leaflet by Colorful Tree 8513

Click for greater clarity and size.

As late in 2013 as December 17th I found a flameleaf sumac, that was turning warm colors. I’ve photographed Rhus lanceolata many times, but I still always look for different ways to portray it; this orb-bedecked picture was one. The location was the right-of-way beneath the power lines to the west of Morado Circle in my Great Hills neighborhood in Austin.

© 2014 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 31, 2014 at 5:58 AM

Riata Trace Pond

with 15 comments

Goldenrod and Bushy Bluestem Turned Fluffy by Pond 3834

Click for greater clarity.

By December 2nd at the Riata Trace Pond in northwest Austin the fall had made itself firmly felt and a couple of unrelated plants there, one a grass and the other a wildflower, had turned fluffy together. The two tallest stalks you see in today’s view are goldenrod, Solidago altissima, while most of the other and more numerous ones are bushy bluestem, Andropogon glomeratus. All the bright spots in the upper part of the photograph are Sparkles sunshinei.

© 2014 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 30, 2014 at 5:45 AM

Sunflower remains

with 21 comments

Sunflower Seed Head Remains 5279

Click for greater clarity.

The picture of Maximilian sunflowers in the last post was a look back at October, a time that’s always still warm (many of you would say hot) in central Texas. Even after sunflowers wither and fade, though, what’s left can be fascinating. Here you see the seed head remains of a “common” sunflower, Helianthus annuus, at the Arbor Walk Pond on December 4, 2013. It looks like there are still a few seeds in it.

© 2014 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 29, 2014 at 6:03 AM

The living

with 27 comments

Maximilian Sunflowers in Colony 4341

The day after I took the photo of dead vines on a dead tree that you saw last time, I took this radiant one of Maximilian sunflowers, Helianthus maximiliani. Note the wispy clouds and the daytime moon.

The date was October 24, 2013, and the location was E. Yager Ln. at E. Parmer Ln., in a field where I’d never photographed before.

© 2014 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 28, 2014 at 6:02 AM

The dead upon the dead

with 7 comments

Dead Rattan Vine on Dead Sycamore 3924

Two of the last three photographs were from an upper section of Bull Creek on December 3, 2013, a date that marked my second visit in as many months to that location. During the first visit, on October 23rd, I also photographed a sycamore tree, Platanus occidentalis, but a dead one wearing the tangled and likewise lifeless remnants of a rattan vine, Berchemia scandens.

If you’re interested in photography as a craft, you’ll find that points 3, and 15 in About My Techniques are relevant to this photograph.

© 2014 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 27, 2014 at 6:06 AM

Sycamore seed balls and drying leaf

with 27 comments

Sycamore Leaf and Seed Globes 4562

Click for greater clarity and size.

Two posts back you saw some trunks of sycamore trees, Platanus occidentalis, reflected in Bull Creek on December 3, 2013. Now from the same visit here’s a closer view, upward and unreflected, of the distinctive seed balls this species produces. The drying leaf is a bonus.

If you’d like a retro-bonus, you can go back to a post from two years ago and have a close look at what one of these seed globes looks like when it comes undone. You can also revisit the remnants of a seed ball in a creek alongside a sparkling array of bubbles. And if you really want to make good on the more in sycamore, you can see one of its leaves changing color and rising into a wispy-cloud sky as an emblem of autumn.

© 2014 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 26, 2014 at 6:03 AM

A better look at a bald cypress turning colors

with 17 comments

Bald Cypress Turning Orange 3839

Click for greater clarity and size.

In the last post you saw some fall color from a bald cypress tree, Taxodium distichum, reflected in Bull Creek on December 3, 2013. Now here’s a less Impressionist view—but still an appealing one, with orange against blue—showing the autumn leaves and the fruit this species produces.

Today’s photograph is from the Riata Trace Pond on December 2nd.

© 2014 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 25, 2014 at 6:04 AM

Posted in nature photography

Tagged with , , , , , ,

Reflections in Bull Creek

with 34 comments

Bald Cypress and Other Trees Reflected in Bull Creek 4661

Click for better detail.

On December 3, 2013, I wandered along Bull Creek and was intrigued by the trees reflected in it. The orange that you see at the left came from a bald cypress, Taxodium distichum, whose needle-like leaves were changing color. Most of the trunks visible here belonged to sycamores, Platanus occidentalis, which, like the bald cypresses, are happy when they’re near a creek or pond.

© 2014 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 24, 2014 at 6:01 AM

A world in a bit of ice

with 48 comments

Ice on Branch Tip 9439

Click for better clarity.

When I spent two hours out in the cold at Great Hills Park on the morning of January 7th, I found this little world in the flattened globe of ice that had formed at the tip of a slender branch. Previously posted pictures from that wintry session showed ice forming around a fallen tree and icicles hanging from a cliff.

© 2014 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 23, 2014 at 6:02 AM

Tufted moth

with 21 comments

Tufted Moth on Grass Seed Head 8871

Click for better clarity.

Near the end of my December 18th walk in the Upper Bull Creek Greenbelt I noticed this tufted moth on a grass seed head. Wouldn’t you like to have antennae like those?

© 2014 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 22, 2014 at 5:55 AM

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: