Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for August 18th, 2015

Periscope up!

with 11 comments

My friend Joe Smith recently told me about a new communications app for cell phones called Periscope. Using the Periscope app, people broadcast videos that other people can watch live and that then stay available for viewing for just 24 hours. (Can you spell ephemeral?) I’ve gone ahead and joined, which is free, and while I was out doing my usual thing this morning I also created a few brief test videos about the native plants I was seeing. These are very much on-the-fly productions without the controlled quality of the still images that appear on this blog, but if you’re curious you’re welcome to have a look. Videos have a couple of advantages over still images: [1] things move (plants in the breeze, for example, and me)  [2] there’s sound, so you get to hear my mellifluous narration (along with the noise of passing cars, etc.).

You can download the free Periscope app for iPhone at


and the free app for Android at


Once you have the app running on your phone, you can search for people by touching the icon at the bottom right of the screen, the one made up of three stylized people’s heads. I’m listed as Steve Schwartzman; you can also search for Portraits and the app will find my name. Once you find a person whose videos you want to see, you can press the circular icon with the plus sign to the right of the person’s name. From then on you’ll be notified of any new videos the person posts. And of course you may want to start posting videos of your own.


Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 18, 2015 at 2:35 PM

Posted in nature photography


with 16 comments

Narrowleaf Pinweed Flower 5993

Another russet plant I found on my June 4th visit to Bastrop County was Polypremum procumbens, known as rustweed and juniper leaf. The flowers in this species are tiny, I’d say no more than 3mm (an eighth of an inch) across.

As far as I know, I’d never seen any rustweed till my jaunt that day to Bastrop County. Nevertheless, the USDA map shows that the plant also grows not only in my county of Travis, which is adjacent, but also in many parts of the eastern United States. If you’ve ever seen this species, please raise your hand—which is to say leave a comment letting us know where you found it.

UPDATE: I originally confused this plant with another one that someone had identified for me in Bastrop, but in a comment on August 29th George Rogers suggested the plant is rustweed, Polypremum procumbens. The descriptions and photographs I’ve found online back that up, so thanks to George for the correction, which is now reflected in the revised text above.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 18, 2015 at 4:55 AM

%d bloggers like this: