Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for July 2017

Sphaeralcea coccinea

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Remember Nebraska’s Chimney Rock? When we visited on May 28th, I photographed these flowers of Sphaeralcea coccinea, called scarlet globemallow, caliche globemallow, and copper mallow. The article linked to in the previous sentence points out that “While on the course of his expedition, near the Marias River [in what is now Montana], Meriwether Lewis collected a specimen of this species.” In fact it grows across much of the western United States. I’ve seen scarlet globemallow in Texas’s hot Trans-Pecos region, so the species tolerates a broad range of temperatures.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 31, 2017 at 4:45 AM

Two henges

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I didn’t see it then and there, which was June 2nd in Custer State Park in South Dakota’s Black Hills. Now, back in Austin almost two months later, this ring of trees near boulders strikes me as Pinehenge. And maybe I’m a bit unhinged, but when it comes to the more contrasty view below from Mt. Rushmore three days earlier that also included pine trees and boulders, I’m inclined to call it Shadowscragglehenge.

Now surely, I thought to myself, that’s a unique name. And guess what? Google the Omniscient agrees:

Your search – Shadowscragglehenge – did not match any documents.

Suggestions:

Make sure all words are spelled correctly.

Try different keywords.

Try more general keywords.

Hooray for uniquity!

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 30, 2017 at 5:02 AM

Death camas

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On May 29th atop Scott’s Bluff National Monument in Nebraska I found no shortage of Zigandenus venenosus flowers. You can recognize that the scientific species name means ‘poisonous.’ The common name death camas is no exaggeration, as people have died from eating the various species of this pretty wildflower. And speaking of the genus Zigadenus, a few of you may remember that I belatedly showed an Austin species back in 2015.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 29, 2017 at 5:00 AM

Spearfish Canyon

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Heading back to Rapid City from Devil’s Tower on the afternoon of June 1st, we turned off Interstate 90 and followed the Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway into the Black Hills. How about those clouds above the cliffs? And how about Bridal Veil Falls along the same route?

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 28, 2017 at 4:51 AM

More from the Badlands

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You didn’t think I’d go to South Dakota’s Badlands, spend seven hours there on May 31st, and dedicate only one post to it, did you? Of course not.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 27, 2017 at 4:58 AM

And here’s a look at those Maximilian sunflowers in their own right

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Behold some Helianthus maximiliani along the North Walnut Creek Trail on July 24th. A couple of nearby Maximilian sunflower flower heads played the role of the golden glow behind the bluebell in yesterday’s portrait. I’ll repeat what I mentioned in a comment: I’d already found some Maximilian sunflowers blossoming along this trail on June 21st, a good two months before even the earliest part of their traditional bloom period. Let me add that last year in my neighborhood I found one of these plants flowering on May 5th. Regardless of the season, Maximilian sunflowers always strike me as cheerful.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 26, 2017 at 4:53 AM

What I found yesterday

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Went walking yesterday morning along the North Walnut Creek Trail to see if any bluebells (Eustoma exaltatum ssp. russellianum) had come up where I’d found them last year. Sure enough, a few had, and they were adjacent to some Maximilian sunflowers (Helianthus maximiliani). If you know those sunflowers, you may be surprised at how early they’re blooming. Prepare to be more surprised when I tell you I found some already flowering along this trail on June 21st, a good two months before even the earliest part of their traditional bloom period.

© Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 25, 2017 at 4:55 AM

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